Photo Credit: The Lume Melbourne

Monet & Friends invites visitors to take a spellbinding journey through the colourful world of French Impressionism.

Melbourne’s art and culture scene is about to get richer as THE LUME Melbourne prepares to unveil their next artist experience, Monet & Friends, to the public. Over a year in the making and featuring more than 800 individual artworks, Monet & Friends invites visitors to take a spellbinding journey through the colourful world of French Impressionism.

This multi-sensory experience will see visitors journey to the heart of Bohemian Paris and through the gardens and farms of countryside France. Surrounded by Monet’s Water Lilies and dancing next to Degas’ Ballerinas, visitors will not just see the world of French Impressionism, but become a part of it.

“The immersive experience on offer at THE LUME Melbourne is far more accessible than a traditional gallery exhibition,” said Bruce Peterson, Founder and CEO of Grande Experiences and THE LUME Melbourne.

“You will be able to walk around and even play in the colours of the French Impressionists as they are projected around the gallery. This tactile, shareable experience opens art to a wider audience and challenges the way we look at this important cultural movement,” Peterson said.

“This was the first time that artists really took canvases out into the open to capture fleeting light and motion,” Peterson said. “We are hoping that exhibitions like Monet & Friends might be some visitor’s first interaction with art but we are not designing these experiences to replace traditional art galleries. We hope that they inform and excite visitors and inspire them to seek out original artwork as well.”

Photo Credit: The Lume Melbourne

Just as the rebellious French Impressionists sought to break out of their studios and use swift brushstrokes to capture the vitality of real life, the new Monet & Friends experience aims to drench guests in the sights, sounds, scents and tastes of this revolutionary time in modern art.

This was a radical turning point in a culture that deserves an equally radical reinterpretation. The works of Monet, Cézanne, Renoir, Manet and more will ripple across four-storey-high canvasses at THE LUME Melbourne’s 3,000 square metres permanent gallery. The immersive experience will be beamed out of 150 projectors to create a feature that took 50,000 man-hours to curate.

The new experience will ignite all five senses, with a brand-new menu at THE LUME Melbourne’s aptly named Café de Flore, influenced by the French cuisine of the time. A signature scent has also been created, which is designed to complement the artist’s celebration of the outdoors and there is also a thoughtfully curated soundtrack to accompany the experience.

Photo Credit: The Lume Melbourne

Monet & Friends will still be as instantly shareable on social media as Van Gogh

Gary Moynihan, lead creative with Grande Experiences and the team behind THE LUME Melbourne, says that music is always an important aspect of a show but with Monet & Friends they found some amazing synergies between the art and the music of the time. “There was a similar Impressionist movement going on in composing,” Moynihan said. “Everyone was trying to capture this sensation of immediacy and rejecting the old forms of creation. Claude Debussy was considered the first Impressionist composer and he was trying to capture that feeling of standing outdoors next to the water and Monet was doing the exact same thing with painting.”

Monet & Friends will still be as instantly shareable on social media as Van Gogh with photo opportunities and the ability to walk into some of the famous Impressionist works including Monet’s Studio, where visitors have the opportunity to harness their creativity and recreate some of the artist’s most famous brushstrokes.

THE LUME Melbourne’s Founder Bruce Peterson sees the French Impressionists experience as a natural successor to the famed Van Gogh experience that has been seen by nearly 9 million people across 85 cities before finding its home at THE LUME Melbourne over the last twelve months.

The Monet & Friends experience is broken up into three main themes: the rise of Paris as the 19th-century hub of art and culture; everyday scenes and the break with traditional studio art; and en plein air, the move towards outdoor paintings and sculptures.

Monet & Friends opens to the public on Wednesday, 26th October, with the gallery open daily to visitors.