Tim Walker @ Somerset House

It’s not everyday that you are confronted with an image of a flying saucer in the english countryside. Tim Walker transports us through his photography to another world where anything is possible and everything is beautiful.

An exhibition at Somerset House is hosting a whimsical display of photographs and props by the British photographer. Here the props are just as impressive as the photographs. We are presented with hairy insects, slugs and a doll twice the height of most ceilings. Walker brings fairytales to life and then triples them in size – it is clear that he is not one for subtle accessorising, yet at the same time, none of the images are at all ostentatious or over the top. The colour schemes are mainly soft pastels and the clothes range from Alexander McQueen and Valentino Couture to Gareth Pugh. It is not everyday that images which when described verbally sound as though they have been taken from a sci-fi film appear to be beautiful works of art.

Many of the 175 photographs have been taken among lush British landscapes and are a vast juxtaposition to the cityscapes which usually take over much of today’s fashion photography. Among the famous faces represented are models Karlie Kloss and Xiao Wen Ju as well as Tilda Swinton and the cast of Faulty Towers.

My favourite images were the Like a Doll series featuring Lindsey Wixson which have been some of my favourite fashion photographs for quite some time. The work featured in Italian Vogue and most of the photography on display has featured in every fashion magazine you can think of, and a large proportion of the work is very recent too, showing work from the last year.

Walker has created a fairytale world in Somerset House where the wall text tells a story visually just as a work of art. Aesthetic is key throughout and the settings and props are just as important as the models and clothes. Nursery rhymes, fairy tales, humpty dumpy and even a french baguette airplane feature in this Alice in Wonderland like surreal world and I thoroughly suggest that you take a look through the looking glass.

Tim Walker: Storyteller is on display at Somerset House until 27 January 2013

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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