Kirsty Mitchell, BA Hons
Kirsty began her higher education at the age of 16 studying fine art, photography and history of art. At 19 she specialised in “Costume for Performance” at The London College of Fashion, gaining a Higher National Diploma with Distinction. Kirsty went on to train at Ravensbourne College of Art for a further 3 years achieving a First Class Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in ‘Fashion Design and Textiles’ . During this time she Interned at the studios of the British Avant Garde designers Alexander Mc Queen (1999 – 2000) and Hussein Chalayan (2000-2001), she graduated in 2001 at the age of 25
Kirsty spent the next decade as a senior designer for fashion label Karen Millen specializing in surface decoration and fabric manipulation, learning in depth the crafts of beading and embroidery whilst spending time in India and China. During this period at the age of 32, Kirsty rediscovered her passion for photography and began a new and deeply emotional connection with the medium throughout the treatment of her mother’s terminal cancer in 2008.
Seven months after her family’s tragic loss, Kirsty immersed herself deeper into photography to help deal with her grief, and in the summer of 2009 embarked on her now revered 5 year series entitled ‘Wonderland’ created in her mothers memory.
As the series grew, it developed a global fan base of over 300,000 followers online, resulting in the photographs achieving a viral status and mass international media coverage around the world. The acclaim for her work and escalating demands of the project led Kirsty to finally leave her fashion career behind at the end of 2011 to commit her future to the completion of the collection and producing the Wonderland book.
After 5.5 years, ‘Wonderland’ was completed in November 2014, immediately winning 2 International awards. The project has been recognised with features by the BBC News, Italian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, The British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, The Telegraph and Germany’s renowned ‘Stern’ magazine and Spiegel Online to name but a few. The Wonderland series has been exhibited in gallery and museum shows in London, USA, South Korea, Milan, and Amsterdam.
The Wonderland Book:
In 2015 after a number of offers from publishers, Kirsty decided to launch her own Kickstarter campaign to self publish the Wonderland book in collaboration with renowned British book designer Stuart Smith.
The project was launched on September 9th 2015 and has since become the most funded photography campaign in the history of Kickstarter. It closed at almost 500% funded – a total of £334k, with 2500 backers from all over the world supporting the book smashing all previous records. 4000 copies of the first edition book went to production in October 2015. Limited stock of the book including Limited Edition & Collectors versions can be purchased HERE.
Kirsty now lives and works as a full time artist in the Surrey countryside near London, and is represented by Mead Carney gallery in London and The Morren Galleries in the Netherlands. She also continues her role as Nikon UK Ambassador for Fine Art Photography, lecturing on the series at various photography events throughout the UK and Europe.
Awards & Accolades:
Grand Prize Winner of the Visual Storytelling, Fictional Narrative Award – LensCulture 2014
London International Creative Competition 2014 – Award Winning Finalist – Professional Photography category
Nikon UK Ambassador for Fine Art
International Photography Awards 2014 – ‘Honorable Mention’ Fine Art Portraiture Category
International Photography Awards 2013 -‘Honorable Mention’ Fine Art Category
Winner of Best Conceptual Photographer 2012 – Framed Awards
London International Creative Competition 2012 – ‘Honourable Mention’ Photography – Professional category
Winner of Regent Street Queens Jubilee award June 2012
Finalist for Exposure photography award Jan 2012
Finalist for One Life Photography award Oct 2011
Finalist for One Life Photography award Jan 2011