05 October 2010

The Lost Explorer: photographer TIM WALKER

Tim Walker is treading along the edges of reality and fantasy in his short film The Lost Explorer. He is comfortable there. His stunning photography, most notably in fashion, can be found in the National Portrait Gallery &  the Victoria and Albert Museum. Walker made The Lost Explorer, a 20 minute short film, after being convinced by friends & advisers to explore the short film genre first, then move on to feature films. He was glad he listened.  'I wanted to launch straight into a feature film, but friends said, "No, you'll get drowned," ' Walker says. 'I was thinking, I can do big epic fashion shoots, what's the difference? But they were so right, in every way.'

''Ages ago someone told me how, in Victorian times, there were canary clouds over the Atlantic,' he says, referring to the days when a taste for exotic birds meant that clippers sailed back from Africa loaded with cages. Halfway home, they would release the birds, which would soar over the sea, until, too tiny to reach land, they would drop back down to the ship and a life of captivity.(from the Telegraph)

image from the Telegraph

if you know Walker's work, there is little doubt his creating a scene like this would be a magically miraculous happening. It was. 'We could afford only 300 canaries, and at the end, the animal wrangler retrieved 287. He put down nuts and seeds and five more appeared, then another seven. By the time the last one came down, it was dusty brown from being up in the rafters.'

image from the Telegraph

The Walker film The Lost Explorer is based on Blood and Water and Other Tales by Patrick McGrath. After meeting with McGrath and leaving his photographs for the writer-McGrath understood Walker's allure to his own story. Creating fantasy, magic, sometimes with slightly macabre undertones, is Walker's oeuvre- while Tim Walker calls Patrick McGrath 'the apocalyptic Roald Dahl'. The film adaptation finds Evelyn, played by Olympia Campbell, stumbling onto an old tent at the bottom of the her garden with a dying Victorian explorer  inside &amp- that is where character Evelyn & Walker's vision blur all the very fine lines between the real and not so-something Tim Walker has mastered in his famous Vogue photography shoots. It was an easy leap to take 'the Cottingley fairy thing, something at the bottom of the garden that shouldn't be there,' says Walker.

a Walker fantasy photograph

As readers well know- an easy leap for Little Augury too.

Tim Walker Photography here
Tim Walker quotes from the Maureen Hume's Telegraph story Tim Walker's flight o fancy linked throughout this post.



  1. your blog is fascinating- amazing posts!


  2. There's a free screening of THE LOST EXPLORER as an exclusive for the upcoming Short Film Session at the Rich Mix...





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