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Let's Play Sardines with Kirsty Mitchell

We have asked 25 UK artists, illustrators and generally creative types to customise the La Sardina DIY for a huge exhibition that will run until March. The "Let's Play Sardines" Exhibition will be shown at all three of our Uk Stores. We asked Kirsty Mitchell to tell us a bit about her photography and her contribution to this exciting project.

Photo:Kirsty Mitchell

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a fine art photographer with a history as a fashion designer and costume / prop maker. I create elaborate theatrical scenes for my pictures in which almost every element including the costumes, sets and props are made by myself. My pictures are shot in the English landscape and can sometimes take up to 5 months to create everything for one scene.

How would you describe your life in two sentences?
Passionate, extraordinary, emotional and generally exhausting. Its not where I ever imagined I would be 5 years ago, and despite the personal loss that created this new phase in my life, I am so grateful for the life affirming journey it has become.

Where did your interest in photography begin?
I have studied art my whole life. I trained in art, photography and history of art from school, and then trained as a costume designer, which led into a ten-year career as a fashion designer, ending with me becoming a full time artist. Art is the thing that makes me get out of bed in the morning, and has opened my eyes to so much, it is everything to me.

What materials do you choose to use and why?
I use a lot of natural elements in my work to tie in with the landscapes that I shoot in. A signature component I often use are hand painted silk flowers, so I felt they had to be included. At the time of customising the camera I was working on a picture which involved a glazing hand painted roses with liquid polyurethane to give a glazed ceramic appearance. I loved the effect, and decided I wanted to try and turn the camera from a modern gadget into something that resembled an antique ornament. As well as the polyurethane and flowers, I used french antique resin mouldings, spray enamel, and acrylic, topped off with a sprinkle of gold glitter for some added magic :)

Did you enjoy customizing your Sardina DIY
Yes it was good fun. I did ask the Lomography team twice before I started if I really could do ‘anything’ to the camera ! As I kind of destroyed its actual working mechanism in the process!! But I loved turning a very modern functional item, into a more timeless ‘folly’ of beautiful weirdness! I guess its how I wish the camera that records my pictures actually looked…. like some kind of bizarre magical contraption.

Photo:Kirsty Mitchell

Describe your creation in 3 words!
English-eccentric, delicate, baroque (not quite 3 words, sorry I cheated :)

Anything exciting lined up for 2013?
Yes it’s a big year ahead. I will finally be finishing my 3.5 year ongoing series ‘Wonderland’ which now has over 65 pieces in the collection. It has been an enormous personal journey creating the series in memory of my mother who I lost in 2008. The focus for 2013 is to finally produce the book and a major public show of the entire collection including the costumes and props. …. so there is quite a mountain to climb, but I’m excited to finally finish the project and share it with all the amazing people who have supported its progress over the years.

See Kirsty Mitchell’s beautiful photography on her website.

Let’s Play Sardines
17th January – 4th Feb 2013
Lomography Gallery Store East London
117 Commercial Street,
London
E1 6BG
Tel: 02074260999
Email: eastlondon@lomography.com

If you want to see a few more fantastic designs visit the let’s play sardines page.

Get ready to sail the high seas with our new La Sardina collection! These 35mm cameras are equipped with spectacular wide-angle lens, multiple exposure capabilities, and a rewind dial—everything you need for fun-filled and thrill-soaked escapades. Get your own La Sardina camera now!

written by hannah_brown

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