Wonderland

Kirsty Mitchell created fantastical scenes in the lush English landscape surrounding her home to photograph for her series, “Wonderland,” including an exhibit at the Museum of Art-DeLand.

The Museum of Art-DeLand will host the exhibit “Wonderland: Photographs by Kirsty Mitchell”, which opens with a members reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, and runs through March 29, at 100 N. Woodland Blvd.

Ms. Mitchell is an award-winning fine art photographer from Surrey, England. Between 2009 and 2014, she created a deeply personal photographic series, “Wonderland,” dedicated to the memory of her mother, Maureen, who died from a brain tumor in 2008. Ms. Mitchell began the project as an escape from reality and as a way of coping with her grief.

Inspired by her mother’s passion for fairy tales and literature, she handcrafted elaborate costumes and props to compose and then photograph astonishingly beautiful, fantastical scenes in the lush English landscape surrounding her home. She collaborated with models and hair and make-up artist Elbie Van Eeden to bring her story’s characters to life.

Ms. Mitchell calls herself “an artist with a camera,” rather than a photographer, as a single image may take up to several months to create before releasing the shutter.

Within months of the series’ inception, Wonderland quickly gained a worldwide following as viewers became connected to the artwork and the intense emotion that inspired them. What had started as a small summer project in Ms. Mitchell’s kitchen in 2009 evolved into a life-changing journey filled with extraordinary theatrical characters and bursting with all the colors of the passing English seasons.

Featuring a selection of large-scale photographs accompanied by films documenting the artist’s creative process, this is the first U.S. traveling exhibition devoted to the acclaimed Wonderland series.

Gallery Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 and free to children less than age 12, Volusia County school students and Stetson University students.

The opening reception Jan. 10 is free for members and $20 for non-members.

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