Kirsty Mitchell – Wonderland

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Kirsty Mitchell – Wonderland

For the past six and a half years, artist Kirsty Mitchell has been working on an extremely personal project entitled “Wonderland.”


The project began while Mitchell was in the depths of grief following her mother’s passing from a brain tumor in November of 2008. Trying to manage her emotions and escape the reality of the matter, she dove into her work; orchestrating beautiful and surreal images based on the fairy tales her mother had told her as a child.


Although not representing actual characters from any story per se, they reflect memories and images instilled in Mitchell by the illustrations and stories of her childhood. “The characters were not a recreation of anything that already existed; they were the faded memories of the stories my mother read to me as a child, mainly their original book illustrations, mixed up with dreams and the underlying sadness of my adult grief.”


The stunning imagery in each photograph was a painstaking process for Mitchell, some images taking as much as a year to design, coordinate, and execute. Helping her realize her imagined scenes was not only her background in fashion design, costume making, and art history, but the help of her passionate friends who were willing to work for free to create her epic portraits.


Many observers first insisted that her photos must have been designed and created using a computer, but through behind-the-scenes videos of her process, and a thoroughly kept diary she revealed, for lack of a better term, the “method to her madness.” Many of the wondrous scenes were taken in the area around Mitchell’s local landscape searching for “Areas of natural wonder, which could convey my feeling that despite its theatrical inhabitants, my ‘Wonderland’ was in fact real and all around us.”


So now in 2015, “Wonderland” has been completed, and Kirsty Mitchell is turning her project into a photo book. Attempting to self-publish the book through Kickstarter, which she launched on September 10th, her goal of £70,000 was reached in only 10 hours. As of September 28th, her campaign has broken the record for the “single highest funded photography campaign in the history of Kickstarter.”

For a contribution of $120, you can own a copy of “Wonderland” when the book is released.