It was nearly five years ago when we initially saw the fantasy driven photographs that comprise Kirsty Mitchell‘s Wonderland series. After four and a half years since she started the fantastic collection, an exceptional portrait of an interpretation of the Greek goddess Gaia signals the commencement of the final chapter in Kirsty’s’ Wonderland project. The 36 -year-old photographer from Surrey offers this fantastical picture series to her late mother Maureen.
Maureen was a devoted English teacher who spent her career inspiring scores of children with original and inventive plays and stories. Kirsty was grief stricken when her mother succumbed to a brain tumor in 2008, and one of the ways she coped with the loss was through her passion for photography.
While the series Wonderland has not ended, the newest part is a strong and emotional image of the Greek epitome of Mother Earth, Gaia, the creator and giver of birth to Earth and all the Universe; gods in the heavens, Titans as well as Giants. It is called Gaia, The Birth Of An End, and is two meters tall.
The model Marianna, wore a grandiose golden headdress which was handmade by Kirsty, who dabbles in fashion and costume design. It took Kirsty more than two and-a-half months to complete the lavish ensemble.
She recently spoke of the personal impact this creative journey has done for her.
“I genuinely mean it when I say that doing this project has changed my life. Now that I have a load of the pictures framed and hanging in my house, everyday I walk past an incredibly special moment that has been frozen in time and will never fade, and I can stop and look at it, and I’m there again. One of my favorite things is to sit on my landing where I have Wonderland 21 placed on a pure white wall, in a white frame. When the sun hits it in the morning, its like the snow goes on forever, and suddenly I am there again with my dear friend Elbie. Each time I walk past it, I touch the frame and say hello to her, because it was such a special day for both of us. No one else was there, it was just us together wildly creating something crazy in the middle of a snowstorm. I think the best way to sum it all up is to quote from my ‘about’ page on the website and say that through all of this – ‘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…’
– and that is the very best way I can explain it all I guess…”
Read more about this amazing expression of grief that ultimately turned into a remarkable creative statement. See Kirsty’s Wonderland here.