For one year Gala worked in correspondence with the Direction of the Castle, Château de la Grange, in the town of Savigny le Temple. Along with the Swedish artist Annica Stiernlöf they created the cultural project “La fête au Chateau” – “Feast at the Castle” - for all visitors and particularly for young students from different schools in the region.
The castle was bought in the year 1800 by Jean-Baptist Bernadotte and his wife Desirée Clary. They left La Grange in 1818 to become King and Queen of Sweden.
The Castle now belongs the town of Savigny le Temple. La Grange and its beautiful French and English gardens, including a vegetable garden, are visited yearly by thousands of visitors from all over France. It has an exhibition hall and there are also Artist’s Residencies.
Gala and the Swedish artist Annica Stienlöf worked together with the artistic design of the exhibition. They were “Artists in residence” at the castle twice while working on this project.
A 'sub-title' was given to the exhibition: “Upstairs and Downstairs” – in reference to the masters and the servants who used to live at the castle.
GALA created the part where the “masters” were represented. They were the former owners from two different periods in the history of the castle. Two children, who both had been growing up at La Grange were the centre of the exhibition. They were Oscar Bernadotte, who later became King Oscar I of Sweden, and Paul Elby who stayed with his parents at the castle in the 1920’s and 30’s. Paul Elby who was born in 1921 was still alive during the realization of the exhibition. He contributed largely with notes and photographs from his own family’s collection.
Annica Stiernlöf created the “servants” part of the exhibition. Her installation was made in very light white hand-made paper. It was hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the exhibition room. It was moving slightly in the air and represented parts of the servant’s costumes and items they used during their daily duties. There were thin white aprons and also buckets and logs. It looked like they continued to do their daily chores in silence. They needed to be as invisible as possible, surrounded by and observed by the masters whose portraits hung on the walls around them. Those servants floated in the air like ghosts of the past that nobody made or kept a portrait of.
The exhibition was inaugurated in September 2013 and had many visitors during the autumn until January 2014. Also students from nearby schools were visiting to get inspired and work with the themes of the exhibition and the history of the castle.
La Fête au Château, Sept - Nov 2013