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Arts, Lies and Audio Tapes

14 April 2009 by Lisa

Press officer, Ed Casson, tells us about a fascinating soundtrack that has been created to accompany one of our most popular paintings…


Boy standing in front of a table of men

‘And When Did You Last See Your Father?’, William Yeames

If someone asked you to describe a painting, how would you go about it – would you be objective or subjective? For visually-impaired artist Alison Jones that was the key to her project ‘Arts, Lies and Audio Tapes’ – to explore issues of interpretation and censorship. 

Aigburth-born Alison invited visitors to the Walker Art Gallery to give descriptions of the famous William Yeames painting ‘And When Did You Last See Your Father?’ While some people were happy to give brief explanations of what they saw, others spent up to an hour outlining each precise detail of the piece. Alison edited these together to create a soundtrack, which was then played in front of an imprecise line drawing of the painting at a Liverpool DaDafest exhibition.

This fascinating recording has now been added to the ‘And When Did You Last See Your Father?’ page on our website where you can also see the painting, which shows a Royalist house under occupation by Parliamentarians and a young boy being interrogated as to the whereabouts of the master of the house.

Alison – the arts manager for Liverpool DaDa (Disability and Deaf Arts) – has recorded an interview with Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about the project, which will be broadcast later this year.

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