This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

> > > Aaron Williamson: 'The Eavesdropper'

Aaron Williamson is artist in residence at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and is using his time to ‘eavesdrop’ upon the paintings in the collection. As one of DAO's Diverse Perspectives commissions, Aaron is blogging about his his work-in-progress 'The Eavesdropper' which is part of the Liverpool Biennial and DaDaFest 2012, culiminating in a series of performance-based interventions in the gallery in November.

Blog 11: Eavesdropping on an Eavesdropper

22 November 2012


artist aaron williamson poses on a plinth in the walker art gallery, with a face covered in eyes

By Lucy Gardner, Assistant Curator of Fine Art, National Museums, Liverpool This was my first experience working with and artist in residence and it has been a truly eye opening occurrence.  We are extremely happy that Aaron chose the Walker to eavesdrop upon and I was pleased to be asked to facilitate the project. I could never have imagined the depth and scope of the research which was going to take place. Over 6 months of Aaron’s visits to the Walker I have been lucky to have...

Comments: 1

Blog 10: Conclusion on performance as an artform

21 November 2012


artist aaron williamson poses on a plinth in the walker art gallery, with a face covered in eyes

Self-objectification is curious thing to attempt. Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday I stood on a plinth in the centre of the Victorian Room at the Walker Art Gallery as a living exhibit. I wore a rough tunic that echoed the style of costumes in the paintings all around and added a touch of Victorian Aesthetic opulence by covering my head with fake eyes as though I was representing some mythological character or other. I named the piece Cyclodusa to indicate the mutant nature of my invention:...

Comments: 5

Blog 9: Performance at The Walker Art Gallery by Aaron Williamson - 'CYCLODUSA'

14 November 2012


black and white image of a face covered in eyes

This is the last week of my residency at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and so I’m now devising the final performance. I’ve taken yet another direction with the work but it follows on from the research I’ve done into the real-life artist’s models featured in the paintings around the Victorian Gallery (Room 8). I’ve written about them here. I’ve decided to transpose the concept of the eavesdropper from the ears to the eyes. A common phrase concerning a...

Comments: 2

Blog 8: On life modelling

23 October 2012


photo of artist Aaron WIlliamson, performing semi-naked in front of an audience

Taking a year out between my BA and MA back in 1991 I chased two sources of income. The first, which I soon gave up, involved patrolling the aisle on trains between Brighton and London offering to demonstrate to bored commuters how to fingerspell their names in sign language. The process took much gurning but having got the letters over ('Joe' was welcome, 'Hyacintha' not so much), I'd accept a small donation from the chuffed, newly-initiated sign-languager and move on to...

Comments: 1

Blog 7: Expulsion from the Walker Art Gallery

22 September 2012


victorian painting of a naked Adam and Eve being seen out of the garden of Eden by a group of angels with stern expressions

“Which is the bust and which is the pedestal?” (Question posed by a tourist to his guide in Mark Twain’s ‘The Innocents Abroad’ [1869]) And so, off for a day’s training to be a gallery assistant and (possibly) a visitor’s guide at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery. Turquoise-shirted, I’m on patrol with Sheila Jones; there’s fire drill, assembly points, etiquette (let visitors through doors before you), and the welcome news that...

Comments: 7