Report by Trevor Connell
The palace of Versailles is one of the most extravagant in the world and houses similarly extravagant artworks. So how to show those artworks off in a modern gallery and what would guests expect at an opening party for such an exhibition?
ASE went along to the opening of Versailles: Treasures from the Palace and spoke to Ashley Zmijewski, Head of Marketing & Communications and Damian Colless, Head Chef for The Big Group at the National Gallery of Australia to find out how they approached this event.
And some observations from ASE
The feature artefact for the opening party was an 8 x 4 m trellis over a bar in the centre of the room. This was designed as a modern version in the style of what would have been many temporary structures built for one of the thousands of parties held in the gardens of Versailles.
So blend a couple of hundred guests with lots of Moet & Chandon and you have a party. Guests spilled out of Gandel Hall into the garden area which featured a bar decked with gold plated glasses for more Moet, all lightly sprinkled with rain.
Official speeches over and it was off to the exhibition …
The presentation of the artworks is very contemporary, with no attempt to mimic the Palace. And that makes sense. The selfie wall at the entrance is a nod to contemporary audiences while the presentation of the Latona and her children statue in the final room is just stunning. In between there are lots of gaudy, totally over the top, elaborate artifacts.
Production credits – opening party
The event was produced in-house by the NGA Marketing and Events team
Event Manager – Ashley Zmijewski
Catering – The Big Group
Head Chef – Damian Colless
Centrepiece built by SBX
Flowers by Rachel Bethany
Technical production – Elite Sound and Lighting