كيرستي ميتشل
קירסטי מיטשל

Gaia The Birth of an End

source: kirstymitchellphotography

I was born in 1976 and raised in the English county of Kent, known to many as the ‘Garden of England’. 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 characters voice. She was an English teacher, and read to me almost everyday, to an age I could no longer admit to my friends. She instilled in me the most precious gift a mother could, her imagination and a belief in beauty…… it became my root, and the place I constantly try to return to in my work, and my dreams.

Growing up, art became my sole passion. I studied until I was 25, taking courses in the history of art, photography, fine art, and then on to train in ‘Costume for Performance’ at the London College of Fashion. Having graduated and worked for a short time in the industry, I decided to further my education, and returned to university, completing a first class degree with honours in fashion design, at Ravensbourne College of Art in the summer of 2001. During this time I also completed two internships at the design studios of Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, both of whom have affected me greatly.

Since then I worked full time as a senior designer for a global fashion brand, until 2007 when personal illness brought a sudden change in myself, and led me to pick up a camera. I cannot explain how this happened, but a new, deep, and genuine need was born. I used to say I had never truly ‘looked’ until it was through a lens… life was different, more beautiful, more sad, and extreme in every sense of the word. People mattered, how they sat, how they slept, how they looked when they thought no one else cared. I fell in love with the faces of strangers, and photography gave me a new purpose…… that was, until March 2008.

Tragically my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and my world fell apart. Photography became my only escape when I could no longer talk about how I felt. I lost myself in street portraiture, focusing on those who reflected my own sadness and loss. I later turned the camera inwards, and began photographing myself throughout the hardest year of my life. It became an utter fantasy that blocked out the real world, and a place where I could return to my memories of her, far away from those hospitals walls.

She died in November 2008 and that was when photography engulfed me, becoming an overwhelming passion that I could not stop. I found myself producing pieces that echoed the memories of her stories, and the belief in wonder I have always felt since a child. By combining my various backgrounds, I started to create images in which everything was made or designed by myself, with the occasional help of a few friends. The costumes, props, sets and accessories all became a vital part of the process that I recorded in the finished product of a photograph. It was driven by the need to produce tangible pieces of my dreams, and make it possible to step into the scenes for real. This physical creation was my favourite part, taking me to places I would have otherwise never known, until it finally led me to leave my fashion career behind in 2011 to focus purely on my photography.

So Life has became a different place, ‘a second chance’ is maybe the only way to describe it, and for that I am so grateful. Since embarking on this path, I have walked on snow covered in flowers, stood in lakes at sunset, painted trees, set fire to chairs, made smoking umbrellas, and giant wigs from stolen flowers. I have laughed, been overwhelmed, and left in awe of all the things I had previously passed unnoticed until now …….
To be honest, I have had my eyes opened, and no matter how sad the origin of it all was….. I will always cherish the fact this small and very precious awakening has happened……………
source: petapixel

Kirsty Mitchell‘s Wonderland series in May of 2012, some three years after she began her journey and just as her work was going so viral online that her reply to our request to feature her work was a “yes” followed by a “thank goodness I upgraded my servers!”

Now, four and a half years after she began Wonderland as a tribute to her mother who had recently passed away, she has officially embarked on what she is calling the final chapter in her Wonderland series.

Although the series hasn’t ended, the photograph you see her taking in the above video — which was put together by FX Media — is the “beginning of the end” so to speak. Appropriately, it is titled “Gaia, The Birth Of An End.”

We share this with you for two reasons: first, if you’ve never seen the Wonderland series you are in for a photographic treat that is ridiculously hard (if not impossible) to beat. And second, this is the first we’ve had an opportunity to take you behind the scenes of one of Kirsty’s Shoots.

Truth be told we could we could wax eloquent for paragraphs on end about how amazing Mitchell’s work is and how intricate and all around stunning this particular piece is. But there’s no need, as she has already done it for us. In a detailed BTS blog post that went live with this video she explains the meaning behind the photo:

I named this first portrait ‘Gaia, The Birth of An End’, as it’s about the last seen character ‘Gaia’s’ transition from a mortal to her true goddess form. I named her after the Greek equivalent of our Mother Earth, and this picture represents her incarnation, (birth) surrounded by an explosion of vibrating, shimmering energy.

Her character affects everything … as she changes so too will the landscape, creating a butterfly effect that sets in motion the end of the story. It was heavily influenced by how I see the human spirit; after losing my mother people often ask me what I imagine comes afterwards, and my only answer is my belief in an endless energy, the circle I feel we are all a part of.

My mother is with me always, she is the earth … the rain, the wind in my hair as I walk to work. The body may cease, but I feel the vibrations of people continue, like ripples from a stone cast in a lake, and it was this power of spirit that I have tried to express within the picture.

To dive into detail regarding the handmade headdress, the inspiration behind many of the different aspects of the photo, and what this first step towards “the end” of Wonderland means for her, we highly recommend you check out her full behind the scenes blog post by clicking here.

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to visit our previous coverage and marvel at the beauty of some of Mitchell’s other Wonderland creations.
source: baikebaidu

英国女摄影师,出生于1976年,作品风格华丽奇幻,从事摄影之前是时装设计师,曾在Alexander McQueen及Hussein Chalayan的工作室实习,这两位设计师对她影响深远。

Kirsty Mitchell有强大的色彩控制力和形式表现感,能够缝合一些壮观的,幻想的场景,来实现一些非凡的想象。



悲痛欲绝的是,柯丝蒂的母亲确诊为脑癌,柯丝蒂那时崩溃了。柯丝蒂不再说话,摄影成为了她唯一的避难所。柯丝蒂在反射自己背上与茫然的街拍中迷失了自己。之后,柯丝蒂转而拍摄室内摄影,在自己 最艰难的一年,拍下了自己。这些写真封锁了真实世界与她远离医院围墙的母亲的记忆,但这是一个十足的幻想。

Kirsty Mitchell 拍摄仙境系列时,因为并不是跑遍全球,所以某些照片寻找地点就需要好几个月。“仙境(Wonderland)”系列作品,利用大胆的配色,非凡的想象力,结合唯美的服装、迷人的场景,具有强烈的视觉冲击,打造出一场让人仿佛置身仙境的时尚摄影大片。在作品中,她用烟雾、书本、气球、花朵、蝴蝶、瓶子、伞、巨大的棒棒糖等道具在勿忘我的花丛中、森林里编织出了一个个迷幻而美丽的紫色梦境。