A photograph that made me think – Lily Cole and spiral staircase, Tim Walker

Tim Walker’s images blur the boundaries between the natural and the man-made world. The inclusion of extravagant lavish sets, full of detail captivates the viewer and draws them into his fantastical world. I love the dramatic dreamscapes of this particular photograph. Walker has decided not to use a studio but rather an immersive and dramatic location.

The model helps to portray an idea of childlike naivety and innocence in what in its’s reality is a cut throat commercial world. Due to the photograph being taken at a slight low angle, the model appears dominant and powerful at first glance, however, her pose and facial expression contrasts against this visual raised dominance and she appears gentle and innocent in the way she is hiding beneath her arm and curled up, suggesting little confidence.

The curved staircase compliments the elegant soft folds of the dress juxtaposed against the ridged, symmetrical nature of the high ceiled room and gothic windows. The photograph has no accompanying text leaving the viewer free to interpret the image as they wish. It is a combination of fashion and architectural imagery . Both are reminiscent of an older sophisticated age of both glamourous dress and decadent architectural form.

Jess Thomas

L1 Photography, University of the West of England


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