Kristy Mitchell Creates a Wonderland in Honor of Her Mother

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland Wonderland self portrait with costumes

All photographs taken from Kristy Mitchell. Used with permission.

There are few works as mesmerizing Kristy Mitchell’s Wonderland. The UK-based artist recreates scenes of an ethereal fantasy world mixing melancholy with childhood nostalgia of fairytales. Years ago Kristy began working on her Wonderland photo after her mother passed away in 2008. What began as a small summer project looking for an escape from reality and help her grapple emotional loss in her life became a photographic series that would define Kristy’s life for the next six years.

Kristy created her own breathtaking fantasy land drawing from the fairy tales her mother shared with her as a child. Every photo shoot was a miniature movie set painstakingly created over the time span of a few months with only a shoestring budget.

Even with these meager resources, Kristy made it work using her training in “Costume for Performance” from the London College for Fashion as well as her background in art history, photography and fine art. She created elaborate costumes hand sewn, painted, and otherwise glued together. After producing the costumes Kristy would then take her intricately dressed models out for a photo shoot in the woodlands near her Surrey home.

Read on to see the rest of the story and more of Kristy’s amazing images.

“The characters are not a recreation of anything that already exists,” Kristy said. “They are the result of my faded memories of the stories my mother read to me as a child, their original book illustrations, and paintings mixed up with dreams.”

“I wanted to create pictures that people will project their own ideas on to, and lose themselves in – each being a visual fable within their own right,” Kristy expounded. Now six years into creating her photo series, Kristy says Wonderland is now in its final phase. So far the there are 74 images in the series and two more will come by the end of this month.

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland The Distant Pull of Remembrance

Moving forwards Kristy is also working with a publisher to work on a book featuring the Wonderland series once it’s complete. Kristy also hopes to create a large touring museum-style show that will showcase the costumes, props, and behind the scenes galleries and films.

To see more of Jana’s work visit her website, Like her on Facebook, or check her out on 500px and Vimeo.

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland The White Queen

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland The Storyteller

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland The Stars Of Spring Will Carry You Home

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland The Last Dance Of The Flowers

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland The Queen's Armada

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland The Ghost Swift

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland The Briar Rose

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland Incantation

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland Gaia's Spell March 2014

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland Gaia, The Birth Of An End

Kristy Mitchell Wonderland Dryad


Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Brooklyn.