/// FESTA MAJOR DE GRACIA - 'ESTUDIS MOZART'
Creative Director / Producer / Artist
A project that began in 2019 and was supposed to be executed in 2020... A pandemic, 2 postponements and several 'Plan B's' later, we finally did it.
I was certainly quite naive when I took on the role of Creative Director for C.Mozart in the Festa Major de Gracia. We essentially transformed a public street into a giant 50m x 5m series of immersive sets based on the theme ‘Behind The Camera’ (an ode of sorts to pre-CGI cinema). The suburb of Gracia is transformed for 7 days, and such has been the tradition for the past 200+ years.
It was like nothing I’ve ever directed before and it was great to explore a whole new creative medium. Despite all the government grants and FMG foundation support, it was constructed from the smell of an oily rag and with a huge emphasis on using recycled materials.
After watching an open air opera recently, I was struck by how monumental a project it was in the context of the last few years. It was one of the first major ‘post-pandemic’ events in Barcelona. After two years in which more jobs and projects were cancelled than were executed, it was very satisfying to see a whopping 3 million people enjoying the week of festivities whilst excellent public health standards were maintained.
Trophies and prizes were by no means a focus (or an appropriate measure IMHO), but we were proud to be 2nd /23 in the people’s choice awards (after all, it’s for the people), 1st place for best entrance/exit structures, but best of all, a special award for the visibility of women in the arts. It was a year of women in positions of leadership as our patrona, president, secretary and treasurer were all women, and we were even paid a visit from Ada Colau, the Mayoress of Barcelona. Other noteworthy mentions include my first interview on national TV (in Spanish) and my husband’s life size replica of ‘Bruce’ from Jaws that he created (whilst also building a Millennium Falcon cockpit and 2001 tunnel).
This year our team was made up of people from 25 different nations (and 13 languages). At one point I was building something with a physicist, a doctor, a sailor and a teacher… what a beautiful tradition. Visca Gracia i la Festa Major