Tag Archives: Tim Burton

Artist Research: Tim Walker

I realised that I haven’t posted up any artist research bar 1, so I thought it was time to start fleshing out the research.

For nearly every single project I have done I have reflected upon Tim Walkers work. This is for a number of different reasons.

1. Tim Walker is one of my favourite photographers; I find his work so beautiful and inspirational.

2. I would love to create work like his (of course in my own style), in the sense of how elaborate and dream like they are. The elements of fantasy entice you in.

3. I couldn’t help looking at his work for the Narrative project, also helps that I looked at him for the Narrative essay.

Tim Walker – “Beetle Juice and Edward ScissorHand”

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One of my favourite photographs by Walker is “Beetle Juice and Edward Scissor Hands”. Tim Walker created elaborate displays of fantasy inspired by Tim Burton’s wacky creations, such as Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride and Abraham Lincoln: the Vampire Hunter. Within this photograph the models have been styled in the likenesses of Edward Scissorhands and Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice. Without previous knowledge of Burton’s work this image would appear to be a sumptuous gothic fantasy fashion shoot. However knowing about Burton’s work and Walkers interest in the world of fantasy the narrative pieces together “So I gather up the ingredients and mix them all together: photographs and illustrations, pictures from fairy tales and children’s books. Fairy tales are very sinister things. As life gets harder it is the adults that sugar-coat childhood” (Tim Walker, Storyteller: pg144).

Although the 2 characters are from separate movies, in their own way they show similarities. Both individuals have their macabre side, however this is mostly due to the characters physical design and unfortunate pasts rather than their personalities. This is mirrored within the photograph in which the models are dressed in a gothic style, much like the movies.

The ambient lighting contrasts with the dark characters, which create an odd sense of innocence that, the characters hold.  Walker was aiming to capture the essence of the subjects and their roles “Tim’s love of fashion is all about telling a story, so when he introduced the notion of fairy tales, I began to explore Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” she says. “Once I saw how the fanciful shapes created pace through the book, we were off.” (Interview by Penny Martin, Fashion. Telegraph). The narratives are the characters, Lydia and Edward.

Another feature that stands out within the frame is the roses, mainly focusing on the ones within the foreground. Red roses are symbols of love, beauty and courage. Each of the characters has a strange sense of beauty and strengths, however others often overlook these features. The scattered and broken roses represent this. Tim Walkers use of props and exaggerated designs give the photograph the information to portray the narrative. Within the subjects grasp they each hold objects that are symbolic towards them. Lydia was an avid film photographer and due to Edwards hands a collection of scissor hanging from the subject’s hand, Tim Walkers use of props brings forth the characters and adds another dimension to them.