The largest-ever exhibition on photographer Tim Walker “Wonderful Things,” with over 150 new works inspired by its collection to open at the V&A, London, on September 21, 2019, and run through March 8, 2020
Considered to be one of the world’s most inventive photographers, this exhibition is the largest exhibition of Walker’s pictures to date. It celebrates his contribution to image-making for the last 25 years and the role that the museum’s collection plays in his creative process.
The central focus of the show is 10 major new photographic projects. These have been directly influenced by objects from the V&A’s vast collection. Walker visited object stores and conservation studios, meeting many of the museum’s curators, conservators, and technicians to prepare for the exhibition. Many rare artifacts such as the museum’s 50-meter-long photograph of the Bayeux Tapestry, the largest photograph in its collection along with luminous stained-glass windows, vivid Indian miniature paintings, jeweled snuffboxes, erotic illustrations, and golden shoes all have inspired Walker’s monumental new photographs. These are featured designed by leading British creative Walker’s long-term collaborator Shona Heath.
The exhibition showcases over 300 items from photographs and the V&A objects that inspired them, to short films, photographic sets and props, scrapbooks and sketches. The visitors are guided by Walker’s enchanted world and Heath’s spectacular design. “Text written by Walker adds personal insight and celebrates the talents of the many collaborators who help bring his ideas to life, including stylists and creatives Katy England, Amanda Harlech and Jerry Stafford, and hair and make-up artists Malcolm Edwards, Julien d’Ys, isshehungry and Sam Bryant, among others,” the museum informs.
The show begins with 100 pictures from Walker’s previous projects and extracts from his Super 8 films. These are displayed in a sleek white space. Walker’s reference points are disparate, taken from fairy tales to The Beatles’ lyrics. Yet, his photographs share a sensibility that is unmistakably his own. He avoids tools such as Photoshop and leans more towards beautifully crafted physical sets and awe-inspiring locations, from Myanmar to Japan and Mexico.
Apart from the exhibition, several of Walker’s film installations appear throughout the museum’s permanent galleries, which include the Tapestries Gallery and Norfolk House Music Room. The Modern Media Gallery, in the V&A’s Photography Center, will screen his newest film, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” a ballet performed by dancers from the Michael Clark Company in costumes inspired by paper dolls in the V&A Museum of Childhood.
For this film, Walker rewrote the original Hans Christian Andersen tale. He transformed it into a moving gay love story, narrated by actress Gwendoline Christie.
“Wonderful Things” opens on September 21, 2019, and March 8, 2020, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL, UK.
For details, visit: https://www.blouinartinfo.com/galleryguide/victoria-and-albert-museum/overview
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.