Known for his work in Gaza, the Nottingham-born photographer first caught McQueen’s eye after he saw an image Waplington had taken of a landfill site near McQueen’s home. When he approached Waplington, he was keen for the photographer’s work to be preserved in an exhibition of landfill images interspersed with those of his design studio. These themes of ruin and renewal which drew McQueen to Waplington stood at the heart of McQueen’s vision for his final collection.
This collection was as a turning point for McQueen; not only would it be his 15th anniversary show, but, he believed, his last as a ‘young’ designer. The poignant truth - that it would be the last before his tragic death - would, of course, only emerge later.
Alexander McQueen: Tate Britain’s Spring 2015 photography exhibition
Chronicling McQueen's entire process, Waplington's photographs give visitors access into an unseen, almost mythical world. Images are insightful and masterful, emphasised by the curation of the exhibition which invites audiences to engage with the darker side of the designer's life. In the final room the sadness which overshadows what would be McQueen's final collection is laid bare and viewers have an opportunity to mourn amongst this celebration of his talent.
McQueen’s friend Susannah Frankel reflects, “This project offers unprecedented insight into the mind of a notoriously private and at times willfully impenetrable man.”
Though Waplington was given total freedom while shooting, McQueen was deeply involved in the final selection of images. This provides one of the most special aspects of the project, as the photographs capture both the man with a captivating frankness and comment on how the designer saw himself at this point in his life. As Waplington muses, “It was a wonder to watch him work, of course... His work was almost performance art - the grand gesture. He was a very theatrically inspired guy.”
|What||We loved Nick Waplington/Alexander McQueen: Working Process, Tate Britain|
|Where||Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Pimlico (underground)|
10 Mar 15 – 17 May 15, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Price||£Prices not yet released|
|Website||Click here for more information|