Everything in this photograph was hand made by myself. The 3ft wig, floral coat, and the set the model is placed within. The portrait is of the heroine of my ongoing 5 year photographic series 'Wonderland' (74 images). The project is in memory of my mother who died in 2008, with the purpose of creating an extraordinary 'storybook without words' . The characters are all my own creation, the costumes props and sets, which I construct like film sets in the woodlands around my home. Everything is real, true scale, and can take months to make from raw materials. The characters are the result of my faded memories of the stories my mother read to me as a child, their original book illustrations, and paintings mixed up with dreams. I wanted to create images that people will project their own ideas on to, and lose themselves in - each being a visual fable within their own right. The series is accompanied by a personal 6 year journal I have written online which supports each image, the project is due to be published in 2015.
Described as a multi-faceted artist, award winning British fine art photographer Kirsty Mitchell draws on her past careers in fashion design and costume making, to produce images of beguiling dream-like worlds all shot in the English landscape surrounding her home. Kirsty describes her approach as Fantasy for Real spending months meticulously handcrafting her characters costumes and props to coincide with the bloom of wild flowers, and the seasonal extremes of her local environment. After graduating from six years of study at The London College of Fashion and Ravensbourne College of Art in both costume and fashion design, Kirsty went on to internships at the studios of Avant grade designers, Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan. She continued her career as a fashion designer for over a decade. In 2008 Kirsty returned to her early love of photography and began a new and deeply emotional connection with the medium during the treatment of her mothers terminal cancer. Nine months after her tragic loss, Kirsty immersed herself in what became an unexpected and life changing series entitled Wonderland, which was intended as a book in her mother's memory. The project continued for 6.5 years gaining international recognition and a social media fan base of 360,000 followers. Kirsty left her fashion career in 2011 to pursue her future as a fine art photographer. In September 2015, after a number of offers from publishers, Kirsty decided to launch her own Kickstarter campaign to create the Wonderland book. In just twenty-eight days the campaign smashed all records and became the most successfully funded photography project in the history of the crowd-funding website, raising over £334K .The book continued to sell at record speed and was sold out by January 2016. Due to overwhelming public demand a 2nd Edition is now under discussion for Fall 2016.