Tim Walker: Wonderful Things

Tim Walker is without a doubt one of the most inventive photographers of our time, and come September, his work will be available to view at the largest-ever exhibition at the V&A.

First gaining prominence in the 1990s, Walker’s images were populated by some of the largest names in fashion: models including Edie Campbell, Lily Cole, Karen Elson and Stella Tennant and designers including Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons and Rick Owens. With his unique approach to visual storytelling, blurring fantasy and reality, Walker’s ability to create pictures that are surreal, lavish, humorous and touching is what makes his wok so unique. Avoiding Photoshop and virtual tools, Walker looks to beautifully crafted sets and awe-inspiring locations to share a sensibility that is unmistakably his own.

The exhibition is designed by leading creative director and Walker’s long-term collaborator Shona Heath, and includes 10 major new photographic projects, showcasing over 300 items with text written by Walker, adding personal insight and celebrates the talents of the many collaborators who help bring his ideas to life.

Of the exhibition Tim Walker said, “To me, the V&A has always been a palace of dreams – it’s the most inspiring place in the world. The museum’s collection is so wide and eclectic, and I think that’s why it resonates with me so much. Many of the objects that I saw during my research at the museum made my heart swell and I wanted to try to create a photograph that would relate not only to the physical presence and beauty of that object, but also to my emotional reaction to it. Each new shoot is a love letter to an object from the V&A collection, and an attempt to capture my encounter with the sublime. For me, beauty is everything. I’m interested in breaking down the boundaries that society has created, to enable more varied types of beauty and the wonderful diversity of humanity to be celebrated. Preparing for this exhibition over the past three years has pushed me into new territories, which is very exciting, and I’m at a stage in my life where I feel brave enough to do that.”

Susanna Brown, Curator of Photographs at the V&A, said: “We started discussing this project back in 2015 and it’s been a marvellous journey. Tim embarked on a sustained exploration of the museum and many V&A colleagues helped to spark his imagination by unlocking our collection stores and sharing the fascinating stories behind the objects with him. Tim has a wildly inquisitive mind and a boundless energy, he never stops innovating and these new pictures are some of the most spectacular he has ever made. Tim’s photographs and Shona’s exhibition design combine to create a show that I think our visitors will adore. The book which accompanies the exhibition reveals more about his complex process and includes fascinating interviews with Tim and twenty of his closest collaborators.”

The exhibition runs from 21st September 2019 to 8th March 2020 and tickets are available now.