I love spending weekends visiting exhibitions. The last one that I visited was the Mary Quant show at the V&A. This past weekend, I returned to the V&A for a sumptuous exhibition, Tim Walker ‘Wonderful Things,’ This British fashion photographer is one of the world’s most inventive photographers, and this exhibition is the most incredible blend of art and fairytales.
‘Wonderful Things,’ so named after the words spoken by Howard Carter upon discovering the contents of Tutankhamun’s tomb; is a treasure trove of visual art. Divided into different sections such as Cloud 9, Lil Dragon and Chapel of Nudes, the exhibition takes you on a journey through Tim’s incredible mind and vision.
The exotic colours, glamour and exuberance of the images in the Lil’Dragon and Cloud 9 sections really stood out to me and it was fascinating to learn where the inspiration for these different collections stemmed from. A small snuff box in the V&A collection that gave the idea for Lil’Dragon. As soon as Tim saw it, he visualised an empress with her pet dragon at night. Aside from the beautiful final result, it is the backstory and theory behind the photographs that truly draws me in.
Nowhere in the exhibition is this more apparent than in Lord Of The Flies. Having read the wartime set book and subsequently seen the film, Tim found it to be an all to accurate reflection of men. As the stranded boys gradually descend into violence on an isolated and desolate island, Tim sees the parallels in modern day life.
In this series of photographs, children are left to their own devices and allowed for their imaginations and creativity to run wild with no restrictions. The results of their experiments are documented in Tim’s photos and this forms the Lord Of The Flies section. For Tim, the internet is the island in Lord Of The Flies in that it is unknown and children can access all manner of things and information that is unchecked. Although it opens up a whole new world, that world can also be dangerous and influence children in ways that we have no way of knowing once they are logged on. It seems as though Tim isn’t too far from the truth with all of the growing concerns over social media.
Tim likens photography to capturing what you see when you are in your imagination and the picture that is created is a souvenir that has been brought back from the daydream. As the exhibition unfolds from one spectacular area to another, we are taken on the most extraordinary tour of a truly creative imagination.
‘Wonderful Things’ is on at the V&A until 22nd March 2020. Have you seen this exhibition and what did you think of it? Leave your comments below.