Kirsty Mitchell was a trained fashion designer working for international labels such as Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, Mitchell created elaborate costumes and designs to compose and create beautiful props and photographs with fantastical scenes and lush landscapes of her childhood home in England. This project, "Wonderland", was completely self-funded by Mitchell while also working as a fashion designer during the day. "Wonderland" doesn't follow a storyline, it illustrates Mitchell's journey using repeated elements and themes.
The "Wonderland" series began in the summer of 2009, born of grief for her mother Maureen, who died 7 months earlier in 2008. The months after her death, Mitchell created an escapism that grew into an idea of creating a storybook without words, dedicated to her, that would echo fragments of the fairy tales she had read constantly to her as a child. Mitchell would shoot all scenes in her childhood backyard in Surrey, searching for its high points. of natural wonder, at times waiting a full year for a certain flower to bloom. Wanting to display that feeling that her 'Wonderland' was in fact real and all around us.
"My earliest memories were always of the stories read to me by my mother as a child...how it felt to be curled into her side, listening to the rush of her breath as she paused for effect, before launching into yet another character's voice," - Kirsty Mitchell
Mitchell had started to develop a subconscious parallel between herself and model Katie Hardwick in the photographs. She had become a mirror of Mitchell's emotions which allowed her to embrace the ebbs and flows of loss and let her emotions guide the narrative of the series. 'Wonderland' is not a recreation of your childhood stories, it is a blur of colors and settings inspired by faded illustrations of childhood books, mixed up with memories, grief, and a new-found spiritual connection with nature.
Kirsty Mitchell has been noted for her creativity and whimsical medium in her photos. A Fine Art Photographer, fashion designer and costume maker, she created a "Fantasy for Real". "Wonderland" was completed in 2014, after 5.5 years, and immediately won 2 International Awards
Since the winter of 2018, the Wonderland series has become a major international touring museum show, hosted by Fotografiska, one o the world's largest and most prestigious museums for contemporary photography.
"Wonderland has gained worldwide recognition since its release in 2009 and has since been exhibited in Sweden, the Royal Palace in Milan, London, Spain, Amsterdam, South Korea, Estonia, and multiple cities in the United States.