Monet & Friends Alive at The Lume

Wed 26th October, 2022 – Sun 4th June, 2023
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
5 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf
The complete works of the French impressionists swirl around you in another lavish multi-sensory art experience that whisks you away to the Belle Époque. Its closing date has just been announced.

In October, Melbourne digital art gallery The Lume’s much-loved Van Gogh Alive was retired and replaced with another larger-than-life, multi-sensory art experience. Now that second gallery is also about to end for good.

Monet & Friends Alive recreates more than 850 pieces by some of the impressionist movement’s best-known artists, with the complete works of Cézanne, Renoir, Manet and more washing over visitors in a multi-sensory extravaganza. The final date for the exhibition is June 4, 2023.

Some 150 high-definition projectors and more than 65 kilometres of cables help create an immersive 3000-square-metre cavern, with projections towering over four storeys high. You can stroll, sit or even lie down to take in the 40-minute show, drenched in light and sound. A bespoke perfume inspired by the paintings’ floral themes also permeates the space, adding an extra dimension to the experience.

The new exhibition places visitors in the heart of impressionism’s iconic scenes of water lilies, ballerinas and urban life in the Belle Époque. The intention is to make these historic works accessible and approachable to everyone.

Impressionism has its roots in avant-garde circles of late-19th century France. Painting “en plein air”, or outdoors – a highly unorthodox practice at the time – its founding artists left their studios for the streets, riverbanks, fields and parks to capture the natural atmospheric effects of light, texture and movement at play in the landscape. Designed to reflect the world as it is subjectively perceived, the school’s hallmarks include vivid colours, dynamic brushstrokes and a less real, more “impressionistic”, approach.

The exhibition activates all the senses through light, sound, smell, and even taste via the in-gallery dining experience, Cafe de Flore. There’s also a tactile sketching zone where would-be artists can try their hand at a tutorial.

Tickets to Monet & Friends Alive are on sale now.

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