This photograph is an image in an editorial called Lady Grey by Tim Walker for Italian Vogue. The imagery combines elements from Alice in Wonderland and Marie Antoinette’s biopic to create a nostalgic atmosphere. Tim walker is able to create a dream world which is so effortless that the viewer begins to believe the scene they see. The thing which really compels me towards this image is the fact that normally imagery with this amount of fantasy elements can look too over the top and garish, but this theme is subtle and flowing without forcing the character upon people. Moreover the stereotypical Alice in Wonderland image has natural settings, but in comparison, this image has a man made background with organic shapes created by the mess on the flooring. It is almost like the characters from the story have been brought into our world, rather than Alice entering into theirs. The frame is dramatically composed as the figures are present in the middle of the borders. Furthermore there is strong backlighting which highlights the uncanny figures and headpieces allowing the viewer to notice all the details of the narrative. There is also a strong used of negative space between the models and the shapes that they create are almost awkward, contributing to the surreal nature of the high fashion imagery. The fact that the characters are not acknowledging the camera allows us as the viewer to become a fly on the wall observing the way that they interact together. Additionally the scene seems to grow beyond what we can immediately see. We imagine an empty room where the characters have just stumbled upon each other for the first time.
Kristen Pisaturo (2010) Tim Walker Takes Us To Wonderland In His Dreamy, Surrealist Editorial http://www.refinery29.com/tim-walker-takes-us-to-wonderland-in-his-dreamy-surrealist-editorial (12/01/16)