Kirsty Mitchell Makes Fairy Tales Come Alive

People deal with grief in very different ways; while some board themselves up from the world, others decide to live more fully and take more chances. After her mother died in 2008, photographer Kirsty Mitchell decided to take her grief and translate it into a commemorative project that takes after fairy tales her mother told her as a child.

The-Queens-Armada--kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day The Queen’s Armada. All photos © Kirsty Mitchell

Gaia-The-Birth-of-an-End-kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day Gaia, The Birth of an End

Wonderland is an ongoing series of conceptual photography that makes incredibly creative and elaborate use of Mitchell’s background in fashion design and costume making. Every single detail in these images, from the costumes to the props and sets, has been completely handmade. Sewing, glueing, painting and assembling everything by hand means that each concept takes about five months to put together. Though each of her photos, most of which take place in the wooded areas around Mitchell’s home, pay tribute to a specific fairy tale Mitchell’s mother used to tell, her photos still leave an opening to allow viewers to project their own memories and stories onto them.

The-Guidance-of-Stray-Souls-kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day The Guidance of Stray Souls

The-Storyteller--kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day The Storyteller

Now, five years later, Wonderland has taken on a life of its own as Mitchell has practically dedicated her life to something that started off as just a way to revisit memories. Her work has gone viral, alerting the attention of FX Media who will be shooting a full-length documentary about the last 10 photos of the series as well as a short clip that gives a behind-the-scenes look on what it takes to put these elaborate conceptual photos together, starting with a clip about Gaia. Mitchell’s work was published in Vogue Italia, and she was named Nikon UK’s Ambassador of Fine Art Photography this past summer.

Check out more of Mitchell’s stunning work, and even more on her Flickr page.

A-Floral-Birth--kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day A Floral Birth

The-Faraway-Tree--kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day The Faraway Tree

Gammelyns-Daughter--kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day Gammelyn’s Daughter

gammelyn's-daughter-a-waking-dream-kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day Gammelyn’s Daughter a Waking Dream

The-Last-Door-of-Autumn-kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day The Last Door of Autumn

The-Ghost-Swift--kirsty-mitchell-photo-of-the-day The Ghost Swift

And you can check out more amazing Photos of the Day here.

(Photos via ThisIsColossal)

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Libby Peterson
Libby Peterson went to Indiana University's School of Journalism and recently moved to New York. Having had a full-immersion French education growing up in her native Minneapolis, Libby enjoys combining her writing with her deep appreciation for culture, design, and aesthetic.