Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kirsty Mitchell's Fairy Tale "Wonderland" London Exhibition Begins (And A Book On the Way!)

Big news for Kirsty Mitchell fans:
1) she's having a 'selling exhibition' starting TODAY (May 7th) in London for 2(ish) weeks, featuring gorgeous 2 meter prints (6 foot prints for the non-metric folks), that show all the teensy details in each amazing shot

2) she also aims to have a book available of her Wonderland work by the end of THIS YEAR! (ie hopefully ready for Christmas!)

By the end of 2015, she hopes to realize a 'Wonderland' book in collaboration with esteemed British book designer Stuart Smith through the launch of a campaign on Kickstarter backed by the photography platform LensCulture.
(I can hear you cheering from here!)
But back to the exhibition. Here are the details from the press release. I'm including the biography and summary notes about Ms. Mitchell and how this series came to be, for those who don't know much about her work:

Kirsty Mitchell ‘WONDERLAND’
7th – 23rd May 2015
Mead Carney Fine Art, 45 Dover Street, W1S 4FF
The show is kindly sponsored by Nikon UK.

Mead Carney is pleased to present 'Wonderland', a new selling exhibition by award winning fine art photographer Kirsty Mitchell.

'Wonderland' is a project created over the course of five years as an homage to the artist's mother who tragically passed away in 2008.

Having worked in fashion for a number of years, Kirsty understood the constructed and filmic nature of the photographic image. Building on this, she incorporated childlike whim through the creation of her favorite fairytales that her mother read to her as a child. With minimal support and finances, she built what can be likened to a film set in order to stage each frame. The tailor-made dresses and make-up add an element of high fashion into the work. However, props such as ships, headdresses and books transform the image further; each item carefully built and placed so as to convey a personal sense of imagination.

Kirsty's oeuvre is whimsical and dream-like. It consists of over 70 photographs that intertwine fantasy, literature and personal mediations. The selection presented shows the breadth and complexity of the highly constructed artworks. The highly saturated colours give a vivid, fairytale quality to each image. Intense contrasts intensify the surreal quality of each work; reality is undermined by the lack of gravity and soft lighting.

Upon completion in November 2014,  'Wonderland' immediately won 2 international awards, with over 280,000 followers on its social media. It has been extensively featured throughout the world achieving a viral status online, and has been published by prestigious names such as Harper's Bazaar, Vogue Italia, The Guardian, BBC news, Germany's Spiegel Online and Stern magazine to name but a few. The images warranted coverage from BBC News, Italian Vogue, and Polish Harper's Bazaar, to name a few. She won a number of awards including the grand prize for visual storytelling by Lensculture in 2014 and a place as the Nikon Ambassador of Fine Art Photography. 
I had to include one of her wonderful behind-the-scenes videos, which I highly recommend for fans, photographers and storytellers alike:
I'm also linking you to her video behind-the-scenes of prepping the ENORMOUS prints for this exhibit. Just amazing stuff. You can watch it HERE, along with finding out extra details about the gallery, the Wonderland show (what will and what will not be shown - only some is shown in the panorama shots below) and her note to fans about the upcoming book.
For those of us who can't see the exhibition, you can see the series at Mitchell's website HERE. And while you're there, I recommend checking out her other galleries too. Some of her personal portraits are truly stunning. (I've also collected a variety on a Pinterest board HERE, along with costume shots and behind the scenes pics, since these photos wouldn't be what they are with all Mitchell's artistry in design, costume and prop making - that's right - she designs and makes them all herself!)
And we'll be keeping our eye on Kickstarter for the rest of the year and cheer this book on to get published. I'd love to see more about the stories behind the photos - not just how the photos were made but which stories told her by her mother inspired which pieces. Clearly there is a fairy tale sensibility here as well as a 'modern-Victorian' faery atmosphere as well, which I would love to hear more about.

And then there's the future. If this is where she journeyed to creatively over five years, we have to wonder: just what amazing things will she do next?!


  1. I was not familiar with this artist before! Gorgeous pictures!! I wish I could fly in to London to visit the exhibit... :)

    1. Hopefully she'll be doing more touring, including to the US, in future. It really seems that this artist is really only just getting going!

  2. This artist's work is just amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. I just want to say how much I appreciate this blog. I've learned about so many wonderful new artists/stories/films etc. here, and it has really enriched my life. Thanks so much!

    1. Oh wow, thank you! I can NOT tell you how much reading this meant to me today! All those things are what I try to do and to know I'm doing it, means I'm succeeding. Thank you so much for letting me know.