Working in the dream department of photography: Tim Walker’s colourful fairytales
‘Sometimes when you’ve taken a photograph you are totally thrilled with, you feel like you are on the brink of discovering something totally amazing like one of life’s secrets. You are dancing on the electricity of passionate creativity.’ A quote I stumbled upon in one of the scrapbooks of photographer Tim Walker, at his exhibition in Knokke-Heist (Photofestival). Of course it spoke to me, just like it will to anyone who’s ever created something, be it a poem, a story, a painting or a song. Haven’t we all been dancing on that electricity? Isn’t that the reason why we continue doing what we’re doing? It made me appreciate that colourful, fairytale-like world of the British Vogue-photographer even more.
‘All of my photos are linked to the things that made me dream as a kid.’ Another of Tim Walker’s quotes. Just in case you were wondering why you see lots of balloons, a lilac horse, a blue elephant and pastel doves in the pictures of this London-based photographer who once worked as an assistant to Richard Avedon. And why you see all those Alice In Wonderland-like settings. Walker likes to play with perspective, by using huge props in his photos. Some of those props are put on display as well, for his exhibition during the Photofestival: a giant skeleton, an airplane, a big camera and some larger than life-sized snails.
It’s fun to see all these well-made, glossy, colourful pictures, springing from an obviously imaginative mind. With those models (Lily Cole) who preferably have the looks of actrices from the silent movie-era. It’s no wonder that Walker says that he works in ‘the dream department of photography‘. In the showcases you’ll find scrapbooks with notes, schedules and Polaroids from his photo shoots. And there are a couple of videos as well, with fragments from those sessions.