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Review - Monet in Paris: high quality, multi-sensory experience

By David Wilson

Monet in Paris

By Grande Experiences and Andrew Kay

Le Grand Palais

97 Macarthur Avenue, Hamilton

Wednesday 7 June to Sunday 6 August 2023

Monet in Paris is a spellbinding journey through the world of French Impressionism, featuring the works of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ingeniously brought to life through state-of-the-art multi-sensory technology. The experience takes visitors back to a time when the face of European art was set to change forever. In a rich, dynamic display of light, colour and sound, the masterpieces come to life on an enormous scale, accompanied by a magnificent musical score.

Monet in Paris pays homage to the impressionist painters, showcasing the history of the impressionist movement, including the social and political turbulence of the time, as much as their paintings.

Monet in Paris is housed in its own, custom built, transportable pavilion of enormous proportion which itself is a work of art. It houses six break-out spaces, providing opportunity to be fully immersed in the multi-sensory experience.

The audio-visual technology employed must be seen to be believed, combining forty high-definition projectors with multi-channel motion graphics and cinema sound to create a stunning and ever-changing 360 degree canvas.

To call the experience immersive is to some extent an understatement. It is almost as though you are there, part of the everyday 19th century existence being captured by the artist. The sheer scale of the work is stunning and in many ways highlights the essence of impressionism, with the inexact and imprecise collection of brushstrokes showcased and exaggerated when projected on the massive screens. The use of light, colour and sound is extraordinary. Even the floor forms part of the art, with cobblestones giving way to babbling brooks and butterflies.

Monet in Paris is the intersection of art and technology, the past and the future. Visitors feel transported to the beautiful French countryside of Giverny or bohemian Paris, seeing the poppies with Monet, or drinking coffee in a cafe with Degas. The overall effect is almost that of 3-D, with the technology bringing subtle movement to the otherwise still works, and the wonderful use of music completing the experience. It is for this reason that Monet in Paris will have broad appeal.

Grande Experiences have done an amazing job of transforming ‘art’ into an experience. Their focus on really engaging with the visitor can be seen at every turn, including the ingenious use of AI technology where Claude Monet paints your impressionist portrait which is then available to you via QR code. There is also an opportunity to be photographed walking on the famous Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies.

At 90 minutes duration, Monet in Paris is a thoroughly enjoyable, high quality, multi-sensory experience that is well suited to all ages and is highly recommended.

Tickets start at $39.


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