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> > > 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 7: Expulsion from the Walker Art Gallery

22 September 2012

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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...

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Blog 6: More voices from the archive

13 September 2012

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Detail from 'One of the family' by Frederick Cotman showing unidentified browny-red object on the table.

One of the bulkier Walker Art Gallery archives – a set of three stuffed folders – relate to that evergreen favourite painting ‘One of the Family’ (Frederick Cotman, 1880), discussed in my previous posting. For the General Public this one’s got the lot: bucolic rapture featuring a friendly old horse, kiddies, granny and a rather flirty-looking yummy mummy. (Is that Eve’s apple she is tempting Dobbin with while hubby skulks in the shadows? Is everything, um,...

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Blog 5: Voices from the archive

7 September 2012

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Artists's impression of the Milky Way Galaxy

In the wildly ornate Magistrates Chambers of the County Sessions Hall at Liverpool is a room lined with filing cabinets containing the records relating to each and every painting in the Walker Art Gallery Collection. This is then, a vast archive since the works in storage greatly outnumber those on display and I’d been somewhat daunted about diving into it. But after my discovery last week of an unattributed painting of James Williamson, the ‘Mole of Edge Hill’, I read...

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Blog 4: On my namesake the Georgian Performance Artist, Joseph Williamson

2 September 2012

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photo of the inside of an arched Victorian brick tunnel with cobblestone floor

Continuing the subterranean theme of my last posting (in search of kitten paintings down in the dank dungeons beneath Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery), I decided to take an afternoon trip to the wondrously-named Williamson Tunnels on Edge Hill. Joseph Williamson was a Liverpool tobacco merchant who’d caused enough coughing by the age of 50 to afford his retirement and pursue his lust for building tunnels for twenty years from 1820 on. He didn’t build them himself obviously...

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