heARTbeat: Kirsty Mitchell’s Inspired Wonderland Series

Column“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” -The King from Alice in Wonderland

What inspires you?  The drape of a fabric?  A stone washed smooth by decades in a stream? The look in your child’s eyes that is pure love? Well, for English artist Kirsty Mitchell, her Wonderland series is a labor of love inspired by the death of her mother from brain cancer. She created the costumes, wigs and sets on a shoestring budget, and some of the images took up to five months to create as she would often wait an entire year to find the perfect natural setting in order to get her shot.  The results are not achieved with Photoshop.

What began as a summer project, evolved into a project of passion that took Mitchell on a three year journey back to her mother’s gift for imaginative stories and plays.

She says, “Real life became a difficult place to deal with, and I found myself retreating further into an alternative existence through the portal of my camera.”

“This escapism grew into the concept of creating an unexplained storybook without words, dedicated to [my mother], that would echo the fragments of the fairytales she read to me constantly as a child.”

“All the characters came to me in my dreams,” she continues, “after all, it’s not often you get to stand beside an eight foot princess in the rain, or witness the dawn with a dancing circus girl on stilts!”

Her dreams are now reality, as Mitchell has completed work on the series and is now planning an exhibition and book.

“I just know that the day I see my mother’s name printed on the inside cover of the Wonderland book, it will feel like I have finally fulfilled my promise to myself and her precious memory.”

This piece inspired by Kate Greer Ginsberg from an article in the UK’s Daily Mail.

Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her trends blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.

Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.