Kirsty Mitchell ‘Wonderland’: A fantastical world

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To find a picture that relates to my dissertation was proving somewhat hard for me to get to grips with, mainly due to the fact that my dissertation is far more fantastical than the usual photographs that I like to look at.

However, I realised that instead of trying to find an image that directly relates to the A Song of Ice and Fire series, why not look at photographs that capture a fantasy world via a lens. Just as Game of Thrones enchants readers and viewers, Kirsty Mitchell’s ‘Wonderland’ uses photography to make the fantasy stories of our childhoods into a mystical reality. I have chosen to share with you this selection of photographs to show how fantasy can become a reality with little more than a camera and a small but dedicated team whose central component is the grief of one extremely passionate woman.

Beginning as a summer project in 2009 to commemorate her mother’s death ‘Wonderland’ spiralled into a photography project of a massive scale. The project took five years to complete, with shoots that could take up to five months to prepare. The aim of the photographs in Mitchell’s own words was to, ‘create pictures that people would project their own ideas on to, and lose themselves in, each being a visual fable within their own right’[1] . The photographs draw on the characters of fairy tales that many of us will have been told, as we were growing up, the stories that Mitchell’s mother told her and what ultimately influenced the project. The conceptual idea to create a world in which her mother’s memory could live on is embodied in the colours of props and costumes, and the landscapes that have been used.

I feel that although the link between my dissertation and this series of photographs is tenuous, they can be connected through their way of creating a fantasy for viewers to lose themselves in, a form of escape from a harsh reality.

Images available at Kirsty Mitchell Photography.

[1] K, Mitchell. The Story Behind Wonderland, Kirsty Mitchell Photography, [Available at: http://kirstymitchellphotography.com/galleries/wonderland/the-story-behind-wonderland/] Accessed on: 19th January 2014

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