Open from late June until early September, the show brings together two of the gallery’s recent exhibitions united by a common fairytale theme.
First up is the fine art photography of Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland series. Collated over the course of five years and drawing upon the artist’s previous career in the fashion industry with Alexander McQueen and Karen Millen, these ethereal images are at the same time both hyperreal and undeniably fantastical.
Part high fashion, part film set, part whimsy, Mitchell meticulously constructed each image from scratch using a vast array of props and a small army of helpers. Upon completion in November 2014 the show quickly picked up a number of international awards and garnered over 280,000 followers on social media.
The second half of the exhibition comes from fellow British photographer Hugh Arnold and his Agua Nacida series. Meaning ‘water born’ in Spanish, Arnold’s intensely colored, large-scale nudes were shot underwater in Fiji and Gozo. The result is an intimate study of the female
form, the liberating freedom of underwater movement and the aesthetics of the sea seen from below.
Each visually arresting image marks the symbolic transition from cocoon to womb, to carefree childhood, the discovery of adolescence, the sensuality of womanhood and the pain of birth, depicting each stage in the process through the acutely observed physical actions of his models.
“Gravity restricts us above water, but under water it’s almost like a fairytale world. The colours, the light, even our breath - which we can’t physically see above water - add wonderful dimensions”, says Arnold.