Wonderland is a photographic series by photographer Kirsty Mitchell. This week, I got an exceptional chance to see her speak at the Nikon stand in The Photography Show, Birmingham. She is the new Nikon ambassador and is extremely skilled in making real-world fantasy images without the use of photoshop.
Kirsty spoke about the importance of her connection to nature and story telling; how art and history come together and have so many interesting tales to tell. She spoke about vital it is to look at art inspiration outside of the medium you work in so that your work is original and not copying what others are doing. Most importantly she spoke about how she did this work for herself and not to please anybody else.
Her behind the scenes process is particularly interesting; she makes everything herself. She demonstrated at the talk that one of her most celebrated images,’The Secret Locked in the Roots of a Kingdom’, was made from chicken wire, a B&Q flower basket and an old cloth. She has a ‘shoe-string’ budget and manages to create these fantastical worlds from the generosity of others and a lot of hard work. This proves that you can create “out-there” photography without a lot of money as long as your apply yourself and work hard. She creates this world that lives within reality but is an escape from the norm and the bleak.
My personal work is often about environmental issues and is a hard-hitting topic with destructive consequences. With my current project, World Of Wool, I am aiming to escape from reality, from all the pain and suffering I have learnt about and need to live in my own bubble of wonder. Photography for me, is not about documenting something that I can’t change, but creating a world that I want to live in – making my own reality, as Kirsty has.
Her idea of incorporating nature, which has been her sanctuary after her mothers death features heavily in her work. In the image above she could be referring to herself as the character. She has been tangled up in roots and cant find a way to reach out and join reality. Instead she lies there ancient-looking and statuesque saying that she prefers who she is inside this web of vines, as it holds her still instead of the act of moving on from her tragic loss. You can read more about Kirsty Mitchell and Wonderland on her blog here.
Thanks for reading,