Reading like a mish-mash of children’s fairytales, the Tim Walker: Story Teller exhibit at London’s Somerset House plays host to our childhood dreams, complete with unicorns, Alice in Wonderland, and Humpty Dumpty dolls. The five-year retrospective from fashion-come-fantasy photographer Tim Walker, runs through January 27, and revisits youth whilst restoring our faith in all things whimsical.
Having leaned the tricks of the trade under the eye of Richard Avedon, Tim Walker is arguably one of the decade’s most celebrated fashion photographers. A W icon—shooting editorials like the Chinoiserie dream “Magical Thinking” and Tilda Swinton’s ethereal Iceland editorial—he manages to use his camera to seamlessly combine fairytale fantasies with sophisticated realities. Yet to him, it’s simple. He says the camera “is simply a box put between you and what you want to capture”.
Setting out with a candid vision – a childlike dream – Walker works with a troop of costume fitters, stylists, make-up artists, and set designers, to illustrate his storybook visions. Speaking of the story behind the images, Walker writes, “And when everything comes together and you look through the viewfinder, there is a window to something magical…you see something you have never seen”.
Supported by Mulberry, Tim Walker: Story Teller showcases more than 175 of his dreamlike photographs and editorials. Visitors to the exhibition are given the rare opportunity to immerse themselves into the world of Walker while dwarfed by giant dolls and larger-than-life swans, or surrounded by images of industry icons like Kate Moss and the late Alexander McQueen. From princesses riding unicorns to flying saucers crashing foxhunts, Story Teller escapes all real-life boundaries. Your inner child wouldn’t forgive you for missing out.
Tim Walker: Story Teller runs at Somerset House through 27 January 2013. Supported by Mulberry. Thames & Hudson publication, Tim Walker: Story Teller accompanies the exhibition.
Courtesy of the artist and Somerset House