There is a tradition of painting the showgirls and cabarets of Paris. One thinks of a certain Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his work featuring the Moulin Rouge. He was brought back to life for the Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge. Luhrmann was also attracted by the Parisian nightlife and its denizens and the film recently spawned a musical which packed theatres in Australian cities.

Seeing all this at the cinema or on stage in Australia is one thing but being there is different. Just ask Brisbane artist Starr who is a regular visitor to Paris and now Artist in Residence at La Nouvelle Eve Cabaret nestled at the base of Montmartre just across the road from the Moulin Rouge.

I was judging the Nundah Village Art Show’s art prize recently. My fellow judge was Starr herself and she was in a bit of a rush to get home to pack after the show because she was flying out to Paris at 3am the next morning. Talk about jealous!

And she’s there right now at La Nouvelle Eve Cabaret and her work inspired by the showgirls is gracing the foyer through October in case you happen to be in Paris. And of course, there are plenty of Aussies there right now on tours following the Rugby World Cup. Disappointed Aussies but that’s another story.

La Nouvelle Eve Cabaret is a timeless and sophisticated revue theatre and the venue boasts opulent décor, highlighted by celestial and softly lit ceiling lighting. Complemented by a Corinthian style multi-coloured stage it is a distinctive gem of the Paris entertainment scene.

Running in tandem with the live performances, Starr’s creations are enchanting visitors from across the globe who come to enjoy the Paris Je T’aime live cabaret review. The show itself fuses music hall and cabaret seamlessly blending Parisian elegance with cutting-edge artistry. The 2023 cast comprises five Australians. Aussies also rule at the Moulin Rouge. Emily Carter is the current lead dancer at La Nouvelle Eve and, along with Hannah Marmion, another Aussie, she posed for Starr who was so excited to be heading back to Paris when I spoke to her on the eve of her departure.

“I love immersing myself in the city’s culture and splendor and especially reuniting with the gracious and supportive dancers,” she says. “They have not only served as my muses but have become dear friends. It is my absolute honor to hold the position of Artist in Residence at La Nouvelle Eve, capturing the dancers as they work behind the scenes in this majestic theatre.”

La Nouvelles Eve recently featured in the Netflix series Emily in Paris. Starr met the club’s proprietor Adrien Pierini on her first trip to Paris some years ago.

“She came to watch the revue Paris Je T’aime,” he recalls. “By then I was already aware of her talent so when she told me she wanted to capture the true essence of Paris by painting a series based on my cabaret and its showgirls I knew it would be a triumph. I am immensely proud that Starr has chosen La Nouvelle Eve as the muse for her art.”

Starr is sharing her visit with live updates on Instagram and Facebook and it is lovely to be able to join her on her Parisian adventure and of course her work is for sale as well if you want a little piece of the glamour of the French capital.

Starr lives on the outskirts of Brisbane and has exhibited regularly at Red Hill Gallery and has just opened her first Signature Atelier in a heritage precinct in Ipswich. She’s a graduate of the Queensland College of Art and her style is linked with the Magical Realism movement but with a modern expressionist twist. Her work is unmistakable and she describes it was as “my ultimate fairytale splashed across the canvas”.

That fairytale just happens to be now taking place in Paris.

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