Psychology has long utilized creative exercises as a healing balm for grief. But sometimes an unexpected consequence of grief (as I have personally discovered) can be creativity, or more specifically an intense, driving passion for some vision of the soul that requires you to create it.
That’s why I am intimately drawn to Kirsty Mitchell.
Kirsty has endeavored upon a photographic labor of love in honor of her adored mother Maureen, taken by brain cancer.
In the wake of her mother’s death, Kirsty channelled her grief into a photographic pursuit that literally comes to her in dreams. Kirsty’s elaborate fantasy series is a nod to Maureen’s legacy as an English teacher and all the children she inspired through her imaginative stories and plays.
Kirsty calls it Wonderland, and like many heart-led pursuits, what started as a small personal project has morphed into an epic inspirational journey.
Are they Photoshopped? No, but they’re so magical, they certainly look like they were. What’s even more amazing? All these photos were created on a shoestring budget, sometimes taking more than a year to materialize.
Her three-year endeavor is almost complete, with plans underway for an exhibition and accompanying book. I, for one, will be first in line to celebrate Kirsty and her beautiful act of remembrance when that time comes.
This quote was the clincher in making me a forever fan: “I just know that the day I see my mother’s name printed on the inside cover of the Wonderland book, it will feel like I have finally fulfilled my promise to myself and her precious memory.”
It just goes to show that grief can conjure up the most glorious exploration of life.
My deepest condolences and congratulations, Kirsty, for making your gift for your mother a reality. And thank you for inspiring all of us with your vision and bravery.