Socialist Worker

Tim Walker exhibition shows beauty is more than escapism

by Rena Niamh Smith
Issue No. 2673

Box of Delights by Tim Walker

Box of Delights

Tim Walker’s spectacular work is the subject of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s major photography exhibition. His dreamlike style uses epic theatrical sets, fantastic clothing, and a diverse range of models, giving it a Through the Looking Glass feel.

With an eye for finding beauty in the weird and wonderful, rather than simply glamorous, this is Walker’s largest photography exhibition to date.

Beginning with a clean white space exploring his inspirations and celebrity portraits, the exhibition follows with a trip through ten rooms in which the viewer steps into the photograph. Walker’s work features equally dilapidated council estates and stately homes, elephants painted pink, and plenty of glitter.

Treasures Walker found, from illustrations to tapestry to stained glass windows, have inspired a range of original photographs.

But his fantasies are not simply about escapism, his work pokes at our notions of beauty, history and social structure.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Admission £15

Theatre—Rebel Music

It’s the summer of 1976. The far right is on the march. Rock Against Racism puts white punk bands and black reggae bands on the same bill—determined to win the culture war and defeat the National Front.

Three teenage music fans, Denise, Trudi and Andrew, join the fight for the soul of working class Britain.

The trio navigate racial politics and social upheaval in Birmingham alongside their own turbulent teenage years. Can their friendship survive?

This new play from Robin French and award-winning director Alex Brown is a celebration of the diverse musical legacy of the Midlands.

At the Birmingham Repertory Theatre until 5 October
Tickets from £10
Go to

Art—OtobongNkanga: From Where I Stand

This is the first British museum show of artist Otobong Nkanga, whose practice spans tapestry, drawing, photography, installation, video and performance.

The exhibition explores the politics of land and its relationship to the body, and histories of land acquisition and ownership.

It will feature new works created especially for the Tate St Ives exhibition including a wall painting and sculpture, alongside well known works.

At Tate St Ives until 5 January
Tickets 9.50, £8.50 concession

Photography—Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus is considered one of the great figures of American photography.

She pioneered the photographic approach that bridges the gap between documentary and fine art, through her commitment “to photograph everybody”.

At Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum until 1 December
Admission free

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.