Does the Walker’s collection talk to you? If so, what does it say? That’s the intriguing starting point for a series of free performances taking place at the gallery this week (15 – 17 November) by artist Aaron Williamson (pic).

With Walker’s super-sized Victorian canvasses framing many a gripping tale, Williamson researched the collection and ‘eavesdropped’ on their stories during a residency at the Walker Art Gallery commissioned by disability and deaf arts organisation DaDaFest as part of the Niet Normaal event earlier in the summer, in partnership with Liverpool Biennial and National Museums Liverpool.

There’s plenty of raw material in those Pre-Raphealite set-pieces, stormy battle scenes and bucolic farms. And those heaving bosoms are, we’ve no doubt, bursting with juicy narratives.

While investigating the works, Williamson delved into archive correspondence and explored the background of the models (even the pets) captured in oils.

In his performance, Williamson will be aping the poses of the painted, thus ‘freeing’ them from their stasis. Someone tried to do that with Munch’s Scream, we seem to remember. Let’s hope this event doesn’t turn nasty.

“I’ve learnt there’s a huge wealth of information on the paintings which is not widely known and cannot feasibly be squeezed onto gallery labels,” Williamson says. “As the Eavesdropper I am going to expose the concealed truths about the models in the Victorian paintings by revealing their untold stories.”

In addition to the performance, you can take a guided tour with the curators and, if your blood’s up, you can take part in a life drawing session. Painting, not stripping. Although, hey…we’re sure your body has plenty of tales worth sharing too.

The Eavesdropper

Thursday 15 November 10am -1pm and 2pm – 4pm
Friday 16 November 10am -1pm and 2pm – 4pm
Saturday 17 November 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm.
The performance will be audio described by Mind’s Eye on Saturday 17 November from 10am till 1pm.

The Eavesdropper tours

Thursday 15 November 11am, Friday 16 November 2pm and Saturday 17 November 11am and 2pm
2pm Tour Saturday – BSL interpreted

Drop-in event, no need to book.

Life Drawing

Thursday 15 November 2-4pm and Friday 16 November 11am-1pm
Places must be pre-booked, email info@dadafest.co.uk including your access requirements, or telephone 0151 707 1733.

All at:
Walker Art Gallery
William Brown Street
Liverpool