I saw Kirsty Mitchell’s wonderful photography on the south news the other evening and think it is just beautiful and deserves a post on our blog!
These photos are from a shoot titled ‘Wonderland’ and took 3 years to produce.
What I like the most about the photos is that there are no digital enhancements what so ever- they are all real people, real sets, real bluebells, real costumes…Amazing!
On Kirsty’s website she describes the story behind wonderland: ‘Wonderland’ began in the summer of 2009 and has now been running for almost 3 years. It was started in memory of my mother Maureen who died 7 months before in November 2008, and has since become a turning point in my approach to photography and consequently my entire life….’
Kirsty was born in 1976 in Kent and went onto study at the London College of Fashion. She also completed internships at Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan. She went onto work for global fashion brand Karen Millen for many years, until 2007. Kirsty says, ‘in 2007 when personal illness brought a sudden change in myself, and led me to pick up a camera. I cannot explain how this happened, but a new, deep, and genuine need was born. I used to say I had never truly ‘looked’ until it was through a lens… life was different, more beautiful, more sad, and extreme in every sense of the word. People mattered, how they sat, how they slept, how they looked when they thought no one else cared. I fell in love with the faces of strangers, and photography gave me a new purpose…… that is, until March 2008.’
In 2008 Kirsty’s mother tragically died of a brain tumor, she explains, ‘She died in November 2008 and that was when photography engulfed me, becoming an overwhelming passion that I couldn’t stop. I found myself producing pieces that echoed the memories of her stories, and the belief in wonder I have always felt since a child. By combining my various backgrounds, I now create images where everything has been designed and produced by myself, and sometimes with the help of a few friends. The costumes, props, sets and accessories, are all a vital part of the process that is finally recorded in the finished product of the photograph. It is driven by the need to produce tangible pieces of my dreams, and make it possible to step into the scenes for real. This physical creation is my favourite part, and has taken me to places I would have otherwise never known. I have walked on snow covered in flowers, stood in lakes at sunset, painted trees, set fire to chairs, made smoking umbrellas, and giant wigs from stolen flowers. I have laughed, been overwhelmed, and left in awe of all the things I had previously passed unnoticed until now …….’
‘Life has become a different place, ‘a second chance’ is maybe the only way to describe it, and for that I am so grateful. I have had my eyes opened, and no matter how sad the origin of it all was….. I will always cherish the fact this small and precious awakening has happened……’
We think Kirsty’s photographs and story are equally as beautiful as each other!
See her website for yourself, which includes a full gallery of the photos as well as behind the scenes shoots.
Also see her Facebook page
We know this is a long post but we felt it deserved it!
(All photos copy write Kirsty Mitchell, and sourced from her website)