Contextual research week 2 – Tim walker V and A
In June 2019 I started my MA with Falmouth university as part of an accredited education programme.
4th October 2019
This week I headed to the Tim walker photography exhibition , ‘Wonderful Things’ at the V and A museum in London. This was such an incredible experience, it reminded me of The Anonymous project in Arles, (where they had converted a whole house into an interactive immersive gallery), albeit, on a much much larger & grander scale. There were also many similarities, I thought, between this exhibition, and the Alexander McQueen Savage beauty, that was held at the v&a a few years ago (coincidentally there was a McQueen dress from that exhibition in this exhibition, that Walker used as one of the starting points of inspiration) both in the scale of the presentation, and the theatrical elements that both exhibitions contained. They were both fully immersive experiences that felt like you were on a set rather than in an exhibition, the presentation of the exhibition becomes as much a piece of art as the art itself. Even at the start of the Walker exhibition which started with a more traditional white walled gallery setting, it didn’t feel like a standard gallery presentation of images, and you knew it wasn’t going to be an every day presentation of images.
To create this new body of work Walker spent months submerged in the archives of the V and A, and created sets and stories that conveyed the emotions he felt when he first encountered some of the pieces, such as the Bayeux tapestry, embroidered jewellery boxes, and a painting by Constable amongst others . The resulting exhibition was a feast for the eyes, and there was so much going on it was hard to know where to look. The presentation of the photographs was inspiring & unique , photographs were displayed alongside props used in the photoshoots, as well as the original pieces that inspired each individual set and photoshoot. There are elements from this exhibition, as there were in the Anonymous projects exhibition, that really made me ponder about the scope of possibilities for how I could, potentially in the future, present an exhibition of my project on alternative education in the fmp.
I have been considering the possibilities of trying to create an interactive exhibition space, where images are displayed or projected into simulated pedagogical spaces , perhaps with one room set up as a forest school, one where the images are displayed in a space set up as a working environment around a kitchen table, one set up as a science lab for example. This is something that I will keep looking at and investigating as I move through the modules. Although a long way off, I am going to keep the idea on the peripheries of my research and project development as I move forward, as it would take a lot longer to organise than a standard exhibition, and as much as I think this would be an enormous undertaking, I have no doubt that it would be worth all the extra hard work, effort and finances it would take, to turn any exhibition into an inspiring and educational environment for the families /communities that the project is about.