I began my ‘Wonderland’ series in her memory in July 2009 whilst still working full time as a fashion designer. Everything within the frame has been made or designed by myself (with a few vintage exceptions) The costumes, accessories, props and sets…… often from basic raw materials with little budget. There are no large support teams, designers or stylists involved; the series has been produced entirely by just myself and the hair and make-up artist Elbie Van Eeden in our spare time with the occasional help of a few friends. As the series progressed, it began to change my life becoming an indescribable passion driven by the need to produce tangible pieces of my dreams. The physical creation has always been my favourite part, and the reason I choose not to conjure the effects and surroundings with the use of Photoshop . It is my chance to experience the moment for real, to stand beside a 8ft princess in the rain, to witness the sun rise with a dancing circus girl in a paper crown ….. 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. It has been the most incredible journey, and the reason I have finally left my fashion career behind, to now dedicate my future to the success of the project, as a book and an exhibition in my mothers name.
My camera has become a portal to a place where I have discovered the true meaning of natural wonder, and the beauty we all so easily pass by. It has moved me, changed me, and formed a new deep emotional bond with the landscapes in which I work. This is my life’s blood,….it is my heart and my soul.
The Wonderland series is now in its final stages, with 45 photographs already public, and a further 20 new pieces about to be released from January 2012, (some of which are included in my selection for this competition). To read more about the project please visit my website - www.kirstymitchellphotography.com
* All the elements you see in the pictures are real and true scale, nothing has been cloned or enlarged in the editing of these images. What you see is what was in front of the camera when the picture was taken.