If you have not heard of Kirsty Mitchell or her phenomenal Wonderland project, than you have truly been missing out. Started in 2009 in honor of her late mother, Wonderland is not only highly popular and critically acclaimed, but it is a true testament on how dedicating everything into your art can create some amazing magic.
All her costumes, set pieces, and work were built by hand from the ground up and took weeks to sometimes even months to produce, and the results are breathtaking.
The Final Chapter of Wonderland: Gaia, The Birth of an End
After four years, the Wonderland series is almost finished, and we’re both excited and at the same time saddened to see Kirsty complete Wonderland.
Gaia, The Birth of an End is the first entry to this final chapter and as expected, Kirsty delivered a stunning image. Of course, seeing this on a computer screen can’t do the image justice, so Kirsty will have 6 1/2 feet (2 meter) high print for her exhibitions.
This story is about Gaia (Mother Earth) and her transformation from a mortal to a goddess.
Closeup detail crops
The Gaia Costume
Just like most of the costume and set pieces in Wonderland, the Gaia costume was created by Kirsty herself. Her inspiration came from her Tibet trip, as well as historical references to the ancient Inca gods.
The headdress was entirely hand painted, dyed and beaded by myself and weighs so much, that it had to be wired to a wooden beam in my studio to take the weight off the models head.
Everything about this shoot was challenging and exhausting, she said. The night before the shoot, Kirsty was up until 1 am with her long-time collaborator and makeup artist, Elbie, and their model, Marianna wiring the suspended headdress.
The shooting day started from 9am and did not end until 6pm. Makeup and body painting alone took 5 hours and continued on throughout the day as Kirsy and Elbie worked closely together to perfect the look.
Richard Wakefield from FX Media shot the incredible video above, as well as the behind-the scenes images below.
There is a lot more to this story, so be sure to read Kirsty’s Wonderland Diary entry, Gaia: The Birth of an End, to see how she created the costume, prepared the shoot, and shot the image. It’s a great read and inspiration.