Research – Kirsty Mitchell

Kirsty Mitchell’s work has inspired my work since college, combining aesthetically pleasing images with a personal reason for producing them.

The work started out as a distraction from her mother’s death. When describing the project on her website she states – ‘This espapism grew into the idea of creating a storybook without words, dedicated to her, that would echo the fragments of the fairytales she had read constantly to me as a child’. Her drive to produce work on a personal level has inspired my own creative journey. My work is strongly based around my own personal experience with anxiety, yet I also want to produce images that are visually appealing.

Kirsty Mitchell’s work is full of colour, using the colour of the lavender fields as a running theme throughout her images for example. I have started thinking about colour more within my work, considering how certain colours portray a particular emotion. Within my upcoming work I want to combine the colour of the landscape, with make up, clothes and accessories to create an image that is visually pleasing to its viewer.

Mitchell’s’ background in fashion design allows her to create elaborate costumes and accessories, which is something I need to consider when planning shoots. On both a tight budget and small time frame I need to ensure that the ideas I plan are achievable.




For this module, I intend to continue with the work I have already been producing so far on the course. The subject of mental health and my personal battle with social anxiety will remain a strong focus throughout the work, however I want to add more of a fashion element to the work so that I use it once I have graduated from the course. I hope that the work will appeal both to those suffering from mental illness themselves, but also aesthetically to those who simply want to view the images. Using text to accompany the work been a strong theme throughout the course, and is something I want to include within this final module. I feel that it gives the work a much more personal feel, as well as expanding on the photographs themselves.

As I previously studied a course within make-up, I want to use these skills to create interesting themes. The colours I use within the make-up and clothing is extremely important within the work. Having previously started to use colour in a creative way within my images, I want to play with this further. I will consider how colour creates an emotion, linking this with the idea of social anxiety. I also want to use colour to create visually appealing images, linking it with choice of location. I feel that shooting on location rather than in a studio means that I can add more emotion to the images, using the outdoors as an intriguing background. I feel that I also have more access to things which will allow me to be more experiential such as using water for example.

Kirsty Mitchell and Brooke Shaden have been big influences for the module as they both use their own personal battles and issues to create a body of work which helps them deal with their problems. Brooke Shaden’s image are clearly heavily Photoshopped, which is not something I want within my work, yet her concepts and reasons for producing the work is something that influences me. She is also a self-portrait artist and justifies her reasons for this because of her social anxiety. She claims that using herself a model allows her to feel comfortable when producing work, very like my reasons. I also want to use myself within the images as it allows me to shoot at any time, and not rely on models.

I feel the work would work well presented in large prints, as well as creating a book to go alongside the work. Having produced a mock-up of a book within the first module, it was something that interested me and I want to carry on with. I will into to creative ways to present the book, looking and image placement and the physical design on the book to make it interesting and unique.

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