Tim Walker is one of the world’s leading photographers. He is well known for his extraordinary imagination. He has been in association with the V&A more than 20 years.
The exhibition was born out of an Odyssey through the V&A’s vast collections. Tim was guided by curators, conservators and technicians, exploring the furthest corners of the museum stores and galleries, even hiking across the roof and navigating the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the building in his quest for inspiration. After months of research, he selected a group of objects which reflect the breadth of the V&A, to serve as an inspiration for a new body of work. The resulting creations 10 series of photographs and a short film.
The project is the result of fantastic teamwork the including exhibition curator Susanna Brown and many collaborators. Shona Heath designed the exhibition space enabling visitors to step inside a fantasy which gave Tim’s photographs a stage.
Tim’s shoots are like watching a play unfold, actors are in costume, set designers, lighting technicians, wardrobe, hair and make-up and of course the director bringing everything together in his vision.
The exhibitions title was inspired by the works of the archaeologist Howard Carter, who covered the tomb of the Egyptian boy King Tutankhamun moon after over 100 years ago who stopped Carter’s diary entry of 26th November 1922, describes his 1st glimpse the team’s glittering contents.
As my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold everywhere – the glint of gold…I was struck dumb with amazement and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, “can you see anything?” It was all I could do to get out the words, “Yes wonderful things.”Howard Carter
Each set is a different photo shoot, and each begins with a “wonderful thing” especially chosen from the V&A collection. For example the image of the exhibition set for Lil’ Dragon was inspired by a Chinese snuff box. Every shoot is a journey. Tim has been compared to Cecil Beaton, but the fantasies that Tim creates with set designers such as Shona Heath make even Beaton’s most surreal stagings of the 1930s look relatively simple.
I would definitely recommend visiting this exhibition and due to popular demand it is open until 22nd March. Tickets are can be purchased HERE. I would love to hear your impressions too!
I used my new iPhone 11 Pro to take the pictures to accompany this post.
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