Partial though I am to an episode or three of Gossip Girl, when it comes to making the most of a Saturday afternoon, you can’t beat a really good exhibition. I rather regret having sulked my way around God knows how many fabulous museums all over the world during my childhood and teenage years but frankly, dragging a moody fourteen year old to the Guggenheim rather than Bergdorfs is a waste of time, money and patience. Thankfully I’ve now grown up enough to appreciate the odd dose of culture so was extremely excited to get a sneak peek at the private view for the much-anticipated Tim Walker “Storyteller” exhibition yesterday evening.
The most enjoyable way to see an exhibition is with a drink in your hand but unfortunately this doesn’t necessarily make for particularly coherent reviewing. Despite having got stuck into the delectable cocktails on offer at the event (more on that later) I was utterly mesmerized by what I saw so I’ll try my best to rustle up a few words. Tim Walker is not only one of the world’s most successful fashion photographers (he shot his first Vogue editorial at the tender age of 25!) but the images he creates and “stories” he tells are always so fabulousle inventive. From Lanvin Creative Director Alber Elbaz sporting a pair of rabbit ears and Tilda Swinton in Iceland to Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton turning an Essex garden centre into a danse macabre and Stella Tennant in a pink cloud among the rhododendrons of an English country garden, Walker’s work has an exquisite eccentricity about it that this exhibition showcased perfectly.
According to the photographer, the camera ‘is simply a box put between you and what you want to capture’. Their success does not rely on graphic manipulation but on painstaking groundwork. “Storyteller” offers a fascinating insight into Walker’s imagination and the mechanics behind the mesmerizing images he creates by way of spectacular installations and a selection of the extraordinary props used on past shoots including giant grotesque dolls for Italian Vogue and an almost life-size replica of a doomed Spitfire fighter plane. Like I said before, I’m extremely partial to a fashion related exhibition and since starting at Central Saint Martins last September have been to a hell of a lot of them. But I can say without a shadow of doubt that Tim Walker “Storyteller” was one of the most inspiring I’ve seen. In his own words, Walker turns ‘daydreams into photographs’ and the combination of images and installations conveyed a sense of the photographer’s fantasy and creative process as well as the finished product. So all in all, I highly recommend getting yourselves down to Somerset House ASAP… Apart from anything else, they have an excellent cafe!
Love Ella. X