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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Alluring Performance Brings Gallery to Life

5 April 2019

The cast of the Walls That Talk
The cast of the Walls That Talk

See the Gallery through a different lens and experience the portraits with a unique sensorial performance of movement, voice and live sound.

Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, The Walls That Talk takes the traditional gallery visit to another dimension by proposing new ways for visitors to connect with the portraits by asking the question ‘what would the Gallery’s walls say if they could talk?’

“We want to take the visitor’s experience to the next level and bring to the forefront reflection, contemplation and emotion. For most of us we walk in to a gallery, stand in front of a piece of art, read about it and conjure up our own ideas about the work. But with the help of Director Katie Cawthorne and her The Walls That Talk cast, a third-dimension to the Gallery experience is added,” Portrait Gallery Program Coordinator, Emily Casey said.

Katie Cawthorne says that it has been a privilege to work on this commissioned piece by the National Portrait Gallery and with the actors, has explored the relationship between the subject, the artist, the viewer and the gallery and how each have their role to play in creating a meaningful experience for the viewer.

The Walls That Talk will use live sound design and highly physical movement taking place around the visitor. We encourage new visitors, or repeat visitors to the Gallery to come and experience the space like they never have before.”

The Walls That Talk will be on for three days only - Friday 12 – Sunday 14 April at 4.00pm; 4.30pm and 5.00pm. The performances will run for 20 minutes followed by an extended Gallery viewing until 6.00pm.

Tickets are $10 adults, $8 Circle of Friend members and under 18’s are free. Bookings are essential..

About the Director

Katie began directing in 2002, producing work in Melbourne, Mexico, Darwin, Sydney and Canberra. In 2015 she completed her Masters of Fine Arts in Directing at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), after gaining earlier qualifications at the University of Melbourne (Graduate Diploma of Education) and Flinders University (Bachelor of Arts).

Katie was the Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Theatre from January 2015 to December 2018 and directed SKIN, The 24 Hour Butoh Project, The Verbatim Project, The Greek Project – Antigone, poem every day, Filtered and Fading with the company. In 2016 Katie was awarded a Canberra Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Revitalising and Advancing Canberra Youth Theatre.

Since graduating from NIDA, Katie has also directed short works for Warehouse Circus, The Public Theatre (Design Canberra Festival), Aspen Island Theatre Company and playwrights Emily Sheehan and Tracy Bourne.

Katie is now based in Melbourne where she runs The Anchor Theatre Company with two other theatre makers. The team have produced work in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney and are currently in rehearsal for their epic work The Three Graces to be produced at Theatreworks in May.

Related information

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.