The Wonderland – a book and a Kickstarter project by fine art photographer Kirsty Mitchell is the result of almost 7 years of hard work which started as a deeply personal project for the award winning photographer who wanted a to connect in her own way with her childhood stories she shared with her mother, an English teacher, who died from cancer a several years earlier.
As things sometimes happen, what started as a small personal project became what the artist now calls “a life-changing journey filled with extraordinary theatrical characters and bursting with all the colors of the passing English seasons”.
Besides the book, Wonderland was also showcased at the London Mead Carney Gallery in June 2015. There are 74 pictures in the series and according to Mitchell “they are entirely real, assembled in front of the camera like small film sets, shot out in the landscapes that surround Mitchell’s home. They are incredibly labour intensive as Mitchell designs and creates all the costumes and props by hand, in some cases taking up to 5 months to prepare everything for one single scene. It is this approach, combined with her need to wait for various wild flowers to bloom and seasons to change for her character’s stories, that explains why the series has taken such a long period of time and enormous effort to produce.
From the Wonderland exhibit in London Mead Carney Gallery
Mitchell’s Kickstarter project turned out to be a huge success raising over 230K pounds (over 3 times the initial goal with almost 3 weeks to go). If you are interested you can still get one of the books at a price of just under 80 pounds on Kickstarter.
The style of Kirsty Mitchell reminds us of several other inspiring female photographers including Alexia Sinclair, Miss Aniela and Adrien Broom who all seem to share a vision of photographic dream/fantasy with a lot of careful attention to details.