Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy website Tim Walker: Wonderful Things
agosto 04, 2022 - Kunsthal Rotterdam

Tim Walker: Wonderful Things

Comunicato Stampa disponibile solo in lingua originale. 

24 September 2022 - 29 January 2023

This autumn at the Kunsthal you can immerse yourself in the fantastical imagination of one of the world’s most inventive fashion photographers: #timwalker (1970). The compelling exhibition #timwalker: Wonderful Things celebrates his rich imaginative power. With elaborate and often surreal sets, his photographs transport the visitors to enchanted worlds. Tilda Swinton, Grace Jones, Grayson Perry, as well as many other muses and models, feature in this largest-ever exhibition about #timwalker – with over 150 new works inspired by the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. At the heart of the exhibition are ten new photographic series that are directly influenced by the treasures in the V&A’s huge collection. The wide-ranging and eclectic collection of this museum for art and design is a source of inspiration for Walker. Together with conservators and archivists he roamed the impressive galleries, depots, and hidden nooks and crannies of the museum in search of objects to spark his imagination. Along the way he encountered luminous stained-glass windows, vivid Indian miniature paintings, jewelled snuffboxes, erotic illustrations, golden shoes, and a 65-metre-long photograph of the Bayeux Tapestry, the largest photograph in the museum’s collection. These and many other rare objects inspired Walker’s monumental photographs in the exhibition. 

Important themes in Tim Walker’s work are nostalgic childhood memories and his love of nature, while subjects like identity and emotions are central to the exhibition as well. Walker wants to embrace diversity with his work.
"I’m interested in breaking down the boundaries that society has created, to enable more varied types of beauty and the wonderful diversity of humanity to be celebrated."- Tim Walker

Spectacular exhibition design
Creative studio MAISON the FAUX is responsible for the design of Wonderful Things at the Kunsthal. As their point of departure they have taken the spectacular design that British set designer and creative Shona Heath – Tim Walker’s long-term collaborator – made for the exhibition of the same name at the V&A.

Marianne Splint, director of the Kunsthal, explains: “We are delighted that this compelling anniversary exhibition – the Kunsthal will be 30 years old on 1 November – will once again enable us to show the work of an iconic fashion photographer to the Dutch public. It is amazing that we can offer visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in Walker’s unique imaginative world. We are very much looking forward to this wonderful collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and #timwalker Studio.”

Friday 23 September: Press preview of the exhibition, 11:00 – 14:00 hrs
On Friday 23 September the press preview will take place in the presence of #timwalker. After an introduction and Q&A, the press will be able to visit the exhibition. Accreditation for the press conference is mandatory. Please contact

About the exhibition
The exhibition opens with a white gallery that presents more than a hundred iconic photographs from Walker’s earlier projects, as well as fragments from his Super 8 films. Through personal texts, Walker draws the visitor into his thoughts and sources of inspiration. In the 1990s, Walker became famous for his unique approach to visual stories for which he created surreal, lavish, humorous, and poignant images, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. The photographs are populated by some of the biggest names in fashion: models like Edie Campbell, Lindsey Wixson, and Stella Tennant, and designers and fashion houses like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Comme de Garçons, and Viktor&Rolf. Walker’s points of reference are extremely diverse – from fairy tales to lyrics by The Beatles. At the same time his photographs also possess a unique sensibility. He avoids using Photoshop or other virtual tools and prefers beautifully crafted physical sets and awe-inspiring locations – from Myanmar to Japan and Mexico. The inventive fashion stories are shown alongside portraits of luminaries such as Sir David Attenborough, Margaret Atwood, and David Hockney, and a variety of models and muses, including Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Björk, Claire Foy, Solange Knowles, Kristen McMenamy, and Kate Moss. The first part of the exhibition is concluded by ‘The Chapel of Nudes’ which is dedicated to nude photography and includes a selection of male nudes.

Together with objects from the V&A’s collection, the ten new photo series Walker made will be shown in various imaginative rooms – rich with texture, colour, and sound. For the ‘Illuminations’ series Walker took inspiration from sixteenth-century stained glass panels and a manuscript that was originally made for the Duchess of Brittany in the 1470s. The monumental photographs are presented in a dramatically dimmed room that is reminiscent of a cathedral. For ‘Pen & Ink’, Walker took the whiplash graphic lines of Aubrey Beardsley’s provocative illustrations from the 1890s as a starting point. A green velvet-clad room displays some of Beardsley’s best-known works, leading into a stark white photographic studio, filled with ten photographs that capture Walker’s witty take on Beardsley’s masterpieces. In ‘Cloud 9’, among other things inspired by sixteenth-century watercolour paintings featuring Krishna and Indra, Walker pays tribute to the vibrancy, mysticism, and rich narrative traditions of India. Exhibited in a room filled with transportation crates, the photo series ‘Handle with Care’ is an ode to the V&A’s textile conservators who take care of the museum’s authoritative fashion and textiles collection. In a subsequent room, decorated in vibrant yellow, Walker muse and actress Tilda Swinton is portrayed wearing a gold turban for the photo series ‘Why Not Be Oneself’, inspired by objects that once belonged to her distant relative, the poet Edith Sitwell. Apart from the many famous faces, Walker’s new photographs are populated by a diverse cast of up-and-coming performers and models, celebrating beauty in all its forms.

About Tim Walker 
Tim Walker was born in England in 1970. At the age of 18 he started working at the library of the media company Condé Nast. There he encounters the work of the English photographer and costume designer Cecil Beaton and his interest in photography began. 
Tim Walker studied photography at Exeter College of Art. After graduating he worked as a freelance photographic assistant in London and subsequently moved to New York City where he became full-time assistant to the renowned fashion photographer Richard Avedon. Aged only 25, #timwalker shot his first big assignment for Vogue. This was the start of his career as a fashion photographer and he has since been photographing for the British, Italian, and American editions of Vogue, as well as for leading fashion and style titles such as W, i-D, AnOther, and LOVE Magazine. Just like Cecil Beaton, #timwalker photographs his models in theatrical settings. His work is characterized by a rich imaginative creativity and filled with fairytale references. The fact that #timwalker finds inspiration in Surrealism and Romanticism is reflected in his choice of themes such as childhood, nature, or emotions, and his praise of the individual. Walker’s talent enables him to draw the spectator into his elaborately crafted dreamworlds.

In recent years, Walker has embraced moving film. His first short film, The Lost Explorer, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland and went on to win Best Short Film at the Chicago United Film Festival in 2011. Walker’s acclaimed publications include Pictures (2008), Story Teller (2012), The Granny Alphabet (2013, in collaboration with Lawrence Mynott and Kit Hesketh-Harvey), and The Garden of Earthly Delights (2017). He received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator from The British Fashion Council in 2008 and the Infinity Award from The International Center of Photography in 2009. In 2012, Walker received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society.

Further information in the press release to download