Since the moment I knew I was coming to London, I knew I had to go see Tim Walker: Story Teller at Somerset House. One of the most inventive and darkly imaginative fashion photographers ever, this collection of his work and props creates less of a story and more of a testament to what a powerful creative force this man truly is. It is quite an extensive exhibit and one that you really want to take the time to properly explore.
Actresses, models and designers are seen in fantastical ways...capturing fantastical moments that are the pure imagination of Tim Walker. A huge swan shaped boat, a room full of sand, a band of oversized insects, a skeleton that hovers over top of you as you walk through and a massive baby doll are all features that you see in reality and as they are captured on film. It's like walking through a Gothic fairy-tale both in story and reality.
There is a juxtaposition between the light, airiness of the space in which the exhibit is held and the usage of white frames which make all the colors jump off the page, with the dark, eerie themes illustrated in the work. It all seems other worldly and pushes the fashion itself to be as much a prop as the rest of the items in the frame. Perfectly put in a review by The Independent, 'It's a world where magic exists and, though darkness threatens, it is never ugly. Beauty rules here, because it is fashion, after all'.
What really struck me was the way that Tim Walker addresses the usage of the camera itself and the magic that seems to happen when he is the photographer. The camera, to him, is just a box that holds that moment in time. What he is doing is simply capturing a moment that is unfolding in front of him. He isn't the director...he is the humble servant of his creation. And even deeper, he speaks of a photograph capturing something that will never happen again. The frame will never look exactly as it just did and there is the ability to become immediately sentimental for the past as soon as that single image has been captured.
(All images c/o Style Bubble)