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Wonderland – ‘The Fade Of Fallen Memories’

July 16th, 2014

The Fade Of Fallen Memories flickr
The Fade Of Fallen Memories (200cm wide)
View large here

It is now July 11th, and I’m sat by the open window of my bedroom staring at this blank page, as summer rain falls silently on the garden outside. Once again, everything has taken so long with producing this new picture, that the enormity of where to begin is making my sentences stammer and break before my eyes. I have so much to say…. It is the last big scene of the series, and for me it really is the mountaintop I have spent 5 years clawing my way towards. After this, there are just two smaller intimate pictures and the project will complete, something I still can’t imagine, no matter how hard I try.

set

(Above, the last four scenes of the series together, below FX media’s behind the scenes film of the shoot)

The Fade Of Fallen Memories crop 3 (Close up detail crops)
The Fade Of Fallen Memories crop 4

“The Fade Of Fallen Memories” is a goodbye, both in the Wonderland story but also within the real world, in my own life. Their parallels intertwined in such a way that it gives me chills, it brings me both happiness and sadness all at once, but above all this photograph is about release…….
In Katie’s world, it is the end of her time in Wonderland, the door being the final piece of the puzzle that fits the queen’s key she has carried close to her heart throughout her journey. In my world, it is the metaphor for letting go of the years of grief I have carried with me and taking that final step back towards reality.

The truth is, I have never been able to look at a photograph of my mother since I lost her, at least nothing from the time when we were both alive together. In my kitchen I keep a frame of faded black and white pictures of her playing as a child, and as a young woman (from before I was born). Every morning I make my breakfast and say hello to this familiar ghost of a girl I never knew, who I love so deeply, despite never having met her at that age.  My recent memories of us were destroyed by the hospital, they took her from me, what she became in the end was not the flesh and blood that bore me. These memories I block out, I tried my hardest to send them as far away as I could, banished from my heart, I suppose like fallen angels, ……and that is how this title came to be. For me the hardest part is to let go of those nightmares, to let them fade and move forward, and this has become ‘my door’.  So once again Katie became my mirror, both of us acknowledging it was time to move on, facing a wall that felt too big to push through, but with the promise of something better on the other side. It is an end and a beginning in one moment, exactly how I see losing someone you love…….

MUM fullmum x
MUM 1

In my mind I always knew the door scene would be one of my most difficult challenges because ever since I first imagined it over 2 years ago, it has become something almost impossible to live up to. Physically it had to be the most beautiful door I could possibly create, built in the name of kings and queens, and worthy of the lands that surrounded it. It also had to blend with the forest, be ancient, magical, the list goes on of all the things I felt it ‘had to be’, but above all it was my goodbye to a place I have loved, that has helped me through my grief. In my dreams I imagined it left in the woods, like a memorial to the story– so the pressure to honour its importance, felt immense.
When looking at the door many people may connect the concept of a portal between worlds with the story of Narnia, and that was exactly my intention and inspiration.  With it came the second challenge for myself, in that I wanted to create a scene where both spring and winter would coexist in the same moment.  Like Narnia, I wanted the seasons on either side of the door to be radically different, however unlike films, or books, I could only express this in one single frame. So we shot in the spring and had to re-create winter as best we could.  In my head I had always envisioned the forest like a Victorian theatre set, a staggered silhouette of leaves and branches, framing and guarding their secret within. I had dreamt of Katie arriving on the crest of her floral wave from under the wing of the forests protection. With each step towards the door I saw her form changing one last time, she was smaller, more fragile, her hair returning to normal as the fantasy fell away revealing the girl she used to be. Above, the last light of spring shone through the vivid leaves, casting great tears of shadows that dissolved in dappled pools on the frozen ground. In her hand, the key silently waits for her last choice…….. whether to stay or leave.

Making The Door

Although it was a very big prop, creating the door was one of the most enjoyable things I have ever made. It was a complete indulgence, and journey into the unknown of how on earth I was going to do it. As always I start with the finished look in my head and then work backwards for what to do next, pretty much making it up as I go along.  The base was a huge plastic cast of an original 19th century French door from a special effects company I have manged to track down. This became my base, as well a big selection of ornate casts taken from the same period and some extra wooden pieces and trims I collected from DIY stores. From this point on everything else was made and hand pained by myself, until my husband Matt built the frame we would need to support the structure on location. It was slow going, the plastic was incredibly thick and hard to cut, even with a hot knife tool.
Anyway, here are the progress photos and I also shot some rough footage of me working on my phone for you to see.

door 1

Painting the door panels and adding extra wooden pieces for further decoration

door 2
door 3

Creating the top section of the door from a mix of period mouldings
door 4

Making the iced effect glazed roses, which I dipped in various tinted layers of liquid plastic, and the stone effect roses with paint.
flowers
door frame
My husband Matt had to build a frame that would support the door panels on the location. It had to be light enough to carry and break down into sections

finishing door
Dressing the door and trying it out in the studio.

I also collected bags and bags of wild ivy and sprayed it white to help blend the door with the location on site.

me and door

Me looking rather worn out (but secretly so thrilled with my magic door :) !!! )

door motif

You will notice on the door in the finished picture there is an extra piece of moulding that did not exist on the original prop. This was something I had no choice but to create in Photoshop as I simply couldn’t make anything convincing enough in real life. I wanted the door to have an emblem that instantly signified it belonged to the key. Its not something I normally do, but I felt it was a beautiful detail to add for the purpose of the story. It took forever, but when the print is seen at two meters it will have been worth the time.

coat front small
The floral coat was made entirely by me from scratch. You can see more about the making of the coat here
coat back small
The key was also hand made by me in 2011, from pieces of antique carvings and old rabbit bones. It belonged to The White Queen, and has been carried by Katie around her neck ever since that part of the story ( with out anyone knowing its purpose)
KEY small

SHOOT DAY

The day of the shoot!  Well ….. this was a day that I feel only those of us who were there will ever really be able to explain the level of exhaustion we went through for this picture. It was wonderful, ridiculous, glorious chaos, involving every level of the scale in emotion, with the most utterly bizarre weather to accompany it all.

To begin I first need to explain a few factors that made a difficult day even tougher to get through. It began a week before the shoot, when the BBC News requested to film me at work on location. This was something I felt I simply couldn’t turn down, despite the fact I am very camera shy and it would add significant stress on the day. Second to this, I had just begun my new relationship with Nikon and would be shooting the picture using a D800E, a camera and brand I had never used before in my life. Thirdly this was the first day I would meet Richard Wakefield, our FX Media film maker who would be recording the progress of the new Wonderland pictures over the summer of 2013 – so that would mean two lots of cameras pointing at me at my most exhausted and fragile. Finally there was the biggest problem of all …. getting the door to the location and set up. Typical of me, the place I found was through a wood and down a dangerous steep slope of wet leaves .with nothing to hold on to ! I always keep my team very small in order to maintain a sense of privacy between myself and the model on a shoot, which meant we had hours of carrying to deal with, including the small matter of 100 bags of flour I had bought to create our ‘frost’ !

The night before the shoot I had no sleep, in fact I hadn’t slept for about 3 days. I was truly out of my skull with worry about everything, and the weather report was also for rain. The thought of the beautiful floral coat and the precious hand painted door getting wet was terrifying. On the morning I opened my eyes to rain clouds, and a blind fear swept through me, I couldn’t eat, my stomach was in knots, but there was nothing to do but face the music and push on. It took us 3 hours to get all the equipment and the door (in pieces) to the location. There were only 6 of us to carry everything (including Katie the model and Elbe our makeup artist!) It had to be the most demanding set build we have ever encountered. I cant even begin to explain the comedy of the flour, it started with Matt and Mark attempting to pull all 100 bags loaded on to a car trailer through the wood like a pair of horses. They battled for about an hour until the trailer became stuck in the undergrowth and they collapsed in an exhausted heap. After that we had to resort to dragging huge gravel bags of the flour by hand, swearing, laughing and groaning the whole way. We were already wiped out before the BBC arrived at 11am, and then the cameras were switched on and my anxiety went through the roof. Richard set up a time lapse of the area and work began on building the door………

door position

Positioning the door panels, to determine the site for the frame
building frame on set
Matt and Mark building the frame, and bolting on the door fronts
dressing door
Me, Elbie and Saskia dressing the door with painted ivy and the roses. Below, Katie (our model) starts sieving the flour onto the floor of the set. On our shoots everyone helps out with the set build, even the poor models !
flour 2
Adding the flour was one of my brief moments of relief during the pressure of the day. We all laughed as we covered the floor, the leaves, door and branches. On top of the flour I also added a huge sack of artificial snow pulp (used in film productions) to bulk up the amount we needed by Katie’s feet. It was such a simple moment of pure happiness, these are the memories I live for. It’s why I gave up my fashion career, it’s why I work 7 days a week, it’s because I get to step into the dreams for real, and honestly nothing else can compare to that.
me and flour
flour
Being interviewed by the BBC on location
bbc 1
bbc 2

Dressing Katie

katie in coat

That day the weather was wildly unpredictable, the sky was threatening, and every now and then we had to run to the door with plastic covers as rain began to fall, followed by sudden flashes of light that made my gut lurch with hope. It was a lot to deal with in front of the television crew and the whole time I had to explain the story and my motives to the reporter whilst trying to decorate the set. It was around that time, (whilst up a ladder) frantically attaching ivy to the frame, that I caught myself stopping and noticing the winds breath on my neck. The leaves all around were fluttering, almost chattering with excitement, like an energy was coming,…..like the electricity in the air before a storm. Maybe it was just adrenaline, lack of sleep, who knows? But I swear I felt her, just quietly…..she was with me, right when I was so nervous and tired and dying inside.
Amongst our little Wonderland crew we have a saying that my mother ‘does the weather’, you can often find us teasing the sky saying her name out loud if the sun wont shine or the snow wont fall, but on this day I had said nothing. It was just then that the clouds began to break and by some miracle the sun suddenly broke through and spot lit the entire door. It could not have been more perfect if I had planned the exact spot to build, and the time of day to shoot, …….it was utterly breathtaking. The rays fell through the leaves casting huge sweeping shadows, as sunlight washed over our feet and the ivy shivered in the breeze refracting a myriad of pattens. Everything shook to life and in a single unsaid moment, everyone knew it was now or never ………..

sun

light
I shouted for Katie to be walked on set, the film crew fell back and I set the tripod in position. I remember shaking, fumbling around with this completely alien camera, as heat built in the pit of my stomach, but then, when I looked through the lens….. none of it mattered anymore. It was more beautiful than I ever could have hoped for… the light had raised the entire scene to a level that would have been impossible to create myself.  It is for this reason, despite how hard it makes my life, that I will always shoot in the landscape for real. Sometimes nature rips through your ideas and turns them into something you couldn’t have predicted and I have learnt over the years that when that happens, you simply have to surrender to it and embrace the unexpected. My heart was pounding, I could feel the BBC camera burning through my skull, but ahead and all around me were the things I loved, my friends, our Wonderland…. a shimmering dream come to life. So I let go, forgot my nerves and pressed the shutter.

We shot for as long as the light stayed with us, we also brought an artificial snow machine and huge smoke grenades for added magic, and laughed, whooped and shouted with delight as these various effects were hurled at the set.  I loved the artificial snow on the day, it was thrilling to see it billowing in the air around our heads, but in the end, on camera the bubbles were too large and not as convincing as I’d hoped.  The smoke however was wonderful, and seemed to cling to the treetops like an Amazonian mist, dramatically changing the mood and making the sky more mysterious. It was just then as the last of the smoke faded, that the heavens darkened and our precious sunlight fled like a spell had been broken. The wind rushed through the leaves, the door began to rattle, and as we all looked up at the May sky with our mouths open, a hailstorm broke from nowhere. We ran squealing with cameras, throwing plastic sheets over Katie and the door, until we managed to squash the entire team under one small shelter we had set up earlier in case of an emergency.
It was the strangest thing, hailstones thundered down bouncing off the grass in the middle of spring. I remember staring glassy-eyed at our set as I watched it dissolve……the irony of real ice destroying our make believe efforts.. Absentmindedly I slowly pushed chocolate into my mouth, having realised I hadn’t eaten since the day before. I couldn’t stop running it all through my mind, I had no idea the sun would hit the door the way it did, we could have built the set in complete shade for all I knew. How odd we had literally been given one precious window of light, and then it was gone, swallowed the very second we let off the last smoke grenade,  and now it was all destroyed. I was dazed, drained, exhilarated, relieved…….. and thought of mum.

smoke
snow
Once the hail stopped I looked behind us at the looming hill back to the van, the soaked door, and the enormous sodden piles of flour on the ground and knew we had another 3 hours of carrying and cleaning up to go. It is times like this that I am so lucky to work with the team I have, in truth we are all just friends first, I recognise everyone’s talents greatly, but at this point only friends could shrug, roll their eyes and get on with the job. We had to leave the scene exactly as we found it, and that meant being on our hands and knees clawing piles of dirty wet flour into rubbish sacks, for which I wanted to add a special mention to Saskia and Elbie for attacking this job with such good humour and gusto. The rest of us hauled door panels, cleaned down branches, equipment, and faced the hill of doom.
It was dark by the time everything was loaded back on to the van, at least 9pm and we had started at 7am, all for one picture. Everyone was shaking with exhaustion, starving hungry and by the looks of the faces on Mark and Matt who had taken the lions share of the carrying, it had been a push too far. We clung to the sides of the cars in the night air, half hysterical but still laughing at the state of us all, we were truly broken. I was dirty, tired, cold, but felt so alive, nothing makes me feel this way, I just can’t explain it. It is the rawest sensation to go out into the landscape and push yourself through something so challenging and be repaid with an experience you would simply never see again. I had talked briefly with Richard at the end of the day, but felt bad I hadn’t spent more time with him; I had no idea what he had filmed and whether he thought it was all a load of chaos or something wonderful. The next day as I packed for my show in Amsterdam I started receiving messages from the gang. I remember sitting on my bed and laughing a little teary eyed as Mark, Richard and Saskia texted me saying it had been one of the most extraordinary days they had ever had, how much they had loved it, how badly they ached, how crazy the weather had been, how the day had been unlike anything else they could think of. It meant so much, we had all felt the same, it wasn’t just me……

giving key

Finally a few short weeks later Richard sent me the first rough cut of the film and I had no idea what to expect., and winced as I pressed play. I think it took around 60 seconds before I began to cry, I had never expected the wave of emotion that poured through me when I saw our little team at work. He had captured everything, the light, the shadows, the exhaustion. It was fragile; honest, it was my friends, the same as we had been back in 2009 when this whole crazy journey first began. Since then we have all grown together, but there we were on screen, with the same laughs, strains and chaos. The film was more like a quiet observation through the leaves, and in the air around us… the music filled me, and in my heart it felt like watching us through the eyes of my mother as I had felt her on the day. I just fell apart, I loved every moment, I had never seen us like that before and I am so grateful I now have it to share with you all too. Watching it back over a year later, one scene has gained new meaning for me that I suppose I never registered at the time, and that was the moment I gave Katie the key.  I replayed it again and again, and watched myself step into her world, from mine – the walls of our parallel lives gone. For that brief moment we were connected through our grasp of the key, it was like I was finally meeting her, and letting her go in real life all at once. The key would unlock her next step in life, set her free, just as creating this series has saved me from grief…. and now all that was left, was for us to both face our doors and move forward one, last, time………….

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30 Responses to “ Wonderland – ‘The Fade Of Fallen Memories’ ”

Alexandra Banti July 16th, 2014

Dear Kirsty,
What a wonderful project and photography… I think that no words could say how I feel after seeing it and all the blog post. Even if I wasn’t there, I’ve cried during the video too ! What a magical person you are… Thank you for this. Your story is very emotive, and I’m so glad you succeeded in your project !

Best wishes,
Alexandra

Jane Russ July 16th, 2014

Dearest Sweet Kirsty,

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one crying by the time I finished your piece about the shoot. You are so young and there are still wonderful things ahead for you as well as the awe filled piece that is Wonderland now behind you.

Your inspiration made me make something from scratch for my new grandson so he could tell HIS grandson, “my grandma made me this”. One day, your grandchildren will say, “my grandma made this for her Ma, isn’t it amazing.”
Carry that thought and begin the rest of your life knowing it’s there as the pinnacle of your art – for now at least!
With love,
J

kira Sanoja July 16th, 2014

Kirsty, my eyes are filled with tears watching that video. I can feel the emotions you must be going though as you come to a close of this project. You are an inspiration to all of us photogs out here! This picture is stunning. I simply have no other words to say, but thank you.

Cristofleur July 16th, 2014

With out a doubt, the absolute most beautiful and brilliant series of photographs mine eyes have ever seen. Never have I been so touched and inspired by anything. Thank you for sharing your art. Thank you for sharing your heart. You simply cannot imagine how much joy and wonder it has brought to my heart.

With much thanks,
Cristofleur

Alex July 16th, 2014

I have no words. The photograph paired with your thoughts have left me utterly speechless and full of emotion. It’s simply perfect on every level. You are so inspiring.

Martin Day July 16th, 2014

Kirsty,

You may not be in any of your pictures, but you might as well be. It certainly is a beautiful scene, but I am actually more touched by the humanity you share in the story of its creation – what it meant and means to you, the comradery amongst your friends and your own wonder, affection and grief. That’s what give the 2D photograph depth for me. I am touched.

Sue Phillips July 16th, 2014

Dear Kirsty
Yet again I am sat her with tears in my eyes. You know how much Wonderland has touched my soul for so many reasons – and here it is happening again! Today was the 25th anniversary of my brother’s death and I’ve just driven back from London, listening to music and thinking of him and recalling memories of our childhood. Is it fate that your latest blog is what I find awaiting me at home? I’m not sure I know quite how to express how much Wonderland means to me; it has been your therapy, but also mine. Thank you. Sending you hugs x

Wendy July 16th, 2014

This is an amazingly beautiful creation and that was before I even read the story behind it. Beautifully written too. Beyond great!

Lotus Buccola July 16th, 2014

Kristy,
You are by far one of the greatest inspirational photographers we have among us right now. I have watched this series since the first images. Five years has been a long time, but every piece shows how you have grown and handled your mothers passing.
It’s been over a year since mine has passed and months since my father has. And now I am beginning my own journey. I think because of you I’ve been knowing how I needed to go about it, but wanted to thank you for showing everyone we can mourn in our own ways. And if it’s an artistic means, even better.

All I can say is keep going. Even after the series. She will always be with you in spirit and keeping the skies clear. Never give up and keep those dreams coming.

Nicki July 16th, 2014

Kirsty,

I messaged you on your FB page a while back, about how I made up stories to go alongside your images for my little girl. Well, she’s now 7 and telling me that I’m doing the stories wrong! I haven’t shown her the most recent images you have released because I’m kind of sad that a part of her childhood is coming to an end. But your work, and the memories it has given me, have inspired me to try and create a new world for us to live in. We have a very dear relative who is coming close to the end, and only now can I appreciate how much of a sanctuary Wonderland must have been for you.

I wish you all the happiness in the world, and can’t wait to see what comes next. Your mum would be so, so proud of everything you have achieved.

Much Love,
Nicki xx

Sarah Allegra July 17th, 2014

Oh my goodness… this is so poignant and beautiful! I can only imagine how exhausting and trying making this image was, but please know that it was worth every moment, even from the point of someone outside your circle. It is such an incredibly sublime and magical image, a truly fitting peak in Wonderland’s world. Though of course I never knew her, I know your mother is so proud of you and what you’ve done.

I admit, I am selfishly truly saddened that we are so closely nearing the end of Wonderland. I know I will shed tears when it’s truly over. But it’s not something I would change. My own work has grown so much from watching yours, and I thank you for that. I hope you will continue to create magic in some form for us to admire after Wonderland is over (and you’ve had a good rest!)

This is so touching, so beautiful and such a testament to the strength of Wonderland and the friendships it has forged. Thank you for sharing it so intimately with all of us. Our world is better for having glimpsed Wonderland :)

Melinda July 17th, 2014

You are simply amazing, so talented and precious! I love reading your words, what you capture is from another world…so dreamy…and pure! You are surrounded by angels, love and light…thankyou for sharing…may you continue to follow your dreams beautiful girl, I look forward to what’s next…xMelinda

Lynne July 17th, 2014

Beyond description, your Felliniesque story evokes Carl Jung’s words: “This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience and critic.”

Nicole Chan July 17th, 2014

Your series is a complete inspiration to me. It is my dream to someday create something as meaningful and resounding. Thank you for taking the time to also give us curious followers a glimpse into your magical process.

Carin Harris July 17th, 2014

Having lost my Mother too, I’ve cried all through reading this. Wonderful series of images and written from the heart. I feel my Mother with me too sometimes…..what a wonderful and dedicated team. Tremendous and inspiring. All the best Carin

Sandra Lopez July 17th, 2014

Your story is so beautiful and the pictures are just amazing. You are an inspiration. It has been wonderful following you along this journey and your story.
My life have been blessed by knowing and following your art.

Roshinee Raajendran July 17th, 2014

I’ve been in love with your work from the first time I saw it and this post has me in tears in the best way….I’m so happy you took this journey and that you invited us all to be a part of it. It’s amazing how this work brought me closer to not just my mom, but maybe a bit closer to you and your mom too, because everything you’ve said and done so far is so very relatable. Thank you XOXO

Geri July 17th, 2014

Tremendous, Kirsty. Once again you have created not only incandescent magic but you have paralleled my own grief in the sharing of this story. I lost a beloved last year to cancer and my husband has just finished a mighty battle with it. I look forward to one day seeing an image of you and your mother together as two powerful, beautiful, women. Yes, women, one fully in a state of grace and motherhood, passing on her deep love of things mysterious and enchanting to her daughter, you, a young woman stepping into the wide world. She was not her illness, just as my beloved aunt was not and my husband is not, and the ravages on the corporeal were and are not them… you have offered to the world what is far beyond the body, have given us a glimpse into a realm that always exists. Some close themselves away in grief forever. Instead, you danced and grappled with it in ways few can. Your mother’s love helped to enable you to become such a woman, such an artist. I hope the magical love my aunt gave me can help me do the same. She firmly believed in fairies. In her memory, I pass on stories and a love for the mysterious to my little girls. Thank you for showing this to the world. One day perhaps we can see the simple but certain loveliness of your mother and you together. Another gift for another time.

Thierry July 17th, 2014

great story, setup, photography, etc…! really inspiring!

Louise Konstantia July 17th, 2014

Kirsty, I have been a silent observer of your work for the last 3 or 4 years. And I just want you to know that you are a huge inspiration, you make me realize that art is so much more than just art – it touches us, it transforms us, it changes us. Your art, your effort, everything you do touches me. And I am so happy that things are looking good for you, for all the exposure your work gets, for all the people you can touch, for all the lives you can transform and for every person you can help.

Don’t stop giving your all. I came here for the photos, but I stayed because of their meaning.

Thank you for everything you are doing.

Kay July 17th, 2014

Saying thank you just isn’t enough. This is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen and read. What a completely stunningly beautiful creation. For you to share this masterpiece and your deep personal feelings is such a poignant gift. Each of us must experience grief, it is a different experience and one that we truly travel in our own way and our own pace. Yours is a path of beauty and serenity. Your mother is so proud, as you should be. Your are blessed with an amazing creativity and vision. May you continue creating such breathtaking beauty and sharing your creations with the world. Peace to you.

dianne porter July 18th, 2014

Once again you share so much with everyone, truly beautiful-there isn’t one word that totally describes your whole journey but you have shared it and illuminated so much by allowing us all into your soul. Moving, and mesmerising I have totally enjoyed so much of your efforts and your team are all so very very lucky. Wonderland as you first imagined it may be finished but you, dear Kirsty have a beautiful life ahead. You have proved there is depth in death, something remarkable can change in people as we all tread this earth but all end up elsewhere! Whatever projects you enjoy in your future-we would love you to share – when and if you feel it is something needed out there! Heartfelt thanks and best wishes on your continued journey.

Rachel Viera July 18th, 2014

Dear Kirsty,

I’m sure you get this all the time but I just want to thank you for sharing your journey with the world and for showing me that honest, real beauty can come from total darkness. When I first saw the pictures of Wonderland back at the beginning I was in a very empty and sad place, the members of my family had been near death and sick for a very long time. Honestly, I don’t know how I would have gotten through without seeing what you created and read your inspiring words. Knowing that this is the last big picture brings tears to my eyes. It is hard to believe that it’s real it’s so beautiful! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and your art! I wish you so much happiness.

Lots of Love,

Rachel xx

Brian Y. July 18th, 2014

Dear Kirsty,

You are such a talented, amazing, and strong woman to undertake an immense and deeply personal project. And the results are just staggeringly beautiful. The photos are breathtaking and your words are inspiring. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

Love from down under,
Brian

P.S. I cannot wait for the book to come out!

Helen Warner July 18th, 2014

Oh I waited for a quiet moment to devour all the details and photos of this entry!
As always i read your latest photos like a story book, the more I look at them, the more meanings pop into my mind. I find it all so fascinating, since they are not just photographs but a sort of exposed emotional journey of an artist, so subtle, but so telling of your personal mindset, always in such an elegant way. They are brave, heartfelt and open like a book. The photographs seem to move through opaque layers, like memories….and encapsulate the past the present and future. It is such a rollercoster, because I feel like the essence of your work cannot be grasped. So it is troubling in a way and must resonate with so many people. We cannot always make sense of life.

My friend commented on how the door, although so fairytale like, looks like the old temples he visited in Cambodia, intertwined in roots…your set is quite similar, it evokes the passing of time, the mystery of the past, and what is to come. The prop becomes so symbolic and encapsulates all that we do not know and the answers we do not have.

I am sad she is leaving, although she seems unsure about locking the door on her beautiful cocoon of nature. I cannot wait to see what is behind those beautiful decaying doors. She looks like a little girl, her hair loose, and her gaze unsettled and perplexed…there is definitely a sense of en ending, in the light, the atmosphere, but I feel it is a hopeful one, how ever hard it is, for your main character and for you dear Kirsty. Absolutely fascinating work as always, you are a real inspiration…X (and a glue gun champion ;)

Kirsty Mitchell July 21st, 2014

I just wanted to write a message here for everyone who has so kindly poured their hearts out in these comments. I am absolutely overwhelmed and so deeply moved by all you have written. I never expected such a powerful reaction to the piece and it means so very very much to me. I wish I could reply to everyone individually, but please know I read all your comments, feel your words and am so grateful for your support, and in some cases here, so very sorry to read of your own loss of loved ones. Thank you so much xxxxx

Stephen July 26th, 2014

I need this kind of closure, to just be able to let go of what has been dragging me down.
I thought it would be right after reading my victim impact statement in court.
But I felt nothing at first and then realized that the anger about what he had done to me, and the agony of this court case still dragging on was not gone.
Will it be when he is sentenced…I doubt it.
Where is my key and my door?…

Stephen July 26th, 2014

It’s the pictures of your mum that inspired my comments because what happened to me that I am dealing with now was from 40 years ago when I was 12 years old.

Eva July 26th, 2014

Dear Kirsty, I can’t believe it’s been so long since you started this series! What a beautiful image to end with <3
Thank you so much for sharing all this, I'm really looking forward to what comes next.
All the best, Eva

Karolina August 24th, 2014

What a great story. So much time, energy and emotion must have been put into making these stunning pictures. I cried too! The music, the set, the costume and the atmosphere all combined create this powerful message and story that touches everyone’s soul. You are a true artist! Well done and I look forward to your next work.
K x