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Narrative Photography series based on "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Divine Comedy" to process trauma.
53 backers pledged $4,115 to help bring this project to life.

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4.22.14 - 3:30pm - Goal #2 of having funding for a true studio space has been met. 3rd mirror mask has been added to donor raffle. 3rd goal of being able to bring in outside talent has been added, new goal in the next 90 minutes is $5980. I will not hit that, but I can now pick and choose which shoots could allow that to happen. Thank you so much!

4.22.14 - 10:31AM - Final day is today! I know once the clock ends that I'll no longer be able to edit this section. I just want to say thank you so much for those that donated, shared and took the time to visit this page. It made the world of difference in seeing this come to light. 

-Philip Bonneau

Final week of funding! Can Alice hit the next goal of $3680 for studio space by Friday? 

 

3.15.14 - I've hit 100% of the minimum goal and the props for this series have been funded. On to the next financial goal of seeing if I can raise enough funds for a studio space.

 
 

3.12.14 - CREATED NEW RAFFLE INCENTIVE OF ONE OF MY LOOKING GLASS MASKS. SEE UPDATE #3 FOR DETAILS

Welcome to my kickstarter to help the funding of my final chapter to my Divine Comedy photographic series started in 2010. My “Brave New Secrets” is to be a show that combines photographic, performance, and personal narrative to explore the process of how life and environment affects an artist. Visually, narratively and conceptually this series combines elements from “Alice in Wonderand” and Dante’s “Divine Comedy.

Everyone has experienced something in their lives that has shattered or affected them. When something happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, destroy you or it can strengthen you. This series explores those options and choices of ultimately going through the various psychological stages of loss. It turns life into art and art into life through escapism and self reflection. It's intent is to showcase that you can turn something negative into something beautiful, as well as proving that even when it might not seem like it would, that it can get better.

What I am looking for from kickstarter and supporters is to help me fund this project enough so that it can be my sole artistic focus for the year and that it can become elevated from the minimalistic approaches of what came before for an ultimate finale. This show is my most elaborate to date as it ties together all of my secrets from not only my Divine Comedy but also merges my Heroes + Villains series together into a complete singular narrative.

The First 2 shows of the Wonderland Divine Comedy

The “Hell” show in this series was "Beautiful Layered Lies". It dealt with going through the various stages of loss as they were occurring. Psychologically, hell is your life gone wrong. Through escapism, I created characters mostly depicted in protective gear and costumes using metaphor and symbology to convey the sense of a scared child coming into a world.

"The Caterpiller"
"The Caterpiller"
"The White Swan"
"The White Swan"
"The Emancipation of the Penitent Soul"
"The Emancipation of the Penitent Soul"
"Alice and The Lobster Quadrille"
"Alice and The Lobster Quadrille"

The Purgatory chapter, "Ugly Simple Truths" was designed to be a mirror opposite to "Beautiful Layered Lies". Where once everything was costumed, in this one the subjects were naked. Using black light photography, I explored the psychological "shadow-self” and unmasked the things lingering in the back of our minds. In this series the narrative of processing trauma and issues was opened up to 23 models to showcase their own stories. This proved that we all have had something dramatically affect us and that we are never truly alone in our thoughts. Blunt honesty was used instead of hiding behind symbols.

"The Scarlet Letters"
"The Scarlet Letters"
"Cut The Fat"
"Cut The Fat"
"Nothing Compares 2 U"
"Nothing Compares 2 U"
"Alice and the Sea of Tears"
"Alice and the Sea of Tears"

The Concept behind the Kickstarter request for my final show, "Brave New Secrets"

what secrets hide behind these shattered mirror masks of mine?
what secrets hide behind these shattered mirror masks of mine?
 

The basic thesis for this new series is, if it is true that we create our own hells and have control over how long we stay in the purgatory of our mind; so must it also be true that we are fully capable of creating our own heaven when we are ready to put our fears aside.

Visually/Narratively this series will be based off of “Through the Looking Glass” and it’s themes of chess, and backwards motion in time. In the story Alice was made a pawn by the white queen and so narratively I will be one throughout this process, starting with this kickstarter campaign. Photographically, my models will be based off the light and dark chess pieces of Kings, Queens, Rooks, Bishops, Knights and Pawns. One set of models will focuses predominantly on the use of mirrors while the other will be pulled from smoke. Visually, if the first show was the innocent light and the second show was the rageful dark, then this would be the grey between the two. 

Alice is forever curiouser and curiouser. The concept I want to explore is if negative influence and experiences had produced the first two chapters and so much of who I am as a person, what happens when you have acceptance? When there is nothing more to forgive or beat yourself up over from the past. What does happens when you surround yourself with positivity and a better environment? How does hope and optimistic influence have on the outcome visually within this Wonderland? If Heaven is peace from the past then what does that look like in the confines of this series? This final series is just as much as letting go of fear as it is embracing faith. These are the questions that drive this series. 

At this stage in the story that only thing that holds you back after processing all the emotions is fear. The first show tackled pain. the second show tackled guilt. Only thing left is the Jabberwock of fear in making the same mistakes. Fear of having something similar occur again. It holds you back from reaching Heaven. I plan on testing how much of a product of our environments we actually are from a visual sense by doing 23 things I’ve never done or have been scared to do. Each new life experience that I do for me will undoubtedly impact perception on life. the visual direction of the image associated to it. (an example would be that if I were to do an Icarus photo shoot, I would go sky diving to understand falling before making the costume). The visuals of this series are going to be evoked from that surrounding as well as by a 2 hour music mix which I have made specifically to help drive mood and story of the entire series. (That can be listened to at https://soundcloud.com/philip-bonneau/final-stream-of-consciousness)

Will Wonderland be reclaimed? Is there really a Heaven? Would you help to set up this pawn on the chess board I’ve created. It could be a baby step or it could be a leap. It is your choice to play the game or not. The journey so far has been incredible ride that I never expected would grow the way it has. I've been covered both nationally and internationally by publications such as The Advocate, Geeksout.org and The GA Voice for my works. I've helped to bridge the gaps between people through my artwork and I have proven to myself that I am capable of being something bigger once I said, "ok... let's pick myself up. I think I can teach myself to be a photographer. I can do this." I've become humbled by what I have done and the incredible support system that has been built around my fantasy world. 

The opening of “Brave New Secrets” is scheduled to opened exactly 3 years from the opening of Beautiful Layered Lies around the end of October.

The Money for "Brave New Secrets"

You decide what the first move of the pawn is. Most of my series have been a community effort from start to finished which has always helped keep things at a minimum and done outside of my normal 9-5 job. This series is a non-profit show as was all my other openings. What is different about this one vs. any of the shows I've done before is the amount of time and dedication that has to be put into this in order for me to hand make the props and to have all the costumes I have envisioned.

PAWN MOVE #1 -

At the very least I am looking to have the props covered for this series. Everything I shoot with is handmade, or put together from various materials and items. In this set, costumes are the most elaborate and functional than I have ever made before. The costuming involves the elaborate use of metal, wings, mirrors and custom costuming far beyond the use of just everyday items and toys.

Stage 1Total - $2645

PAWN MOVE #2 Funding -

I have always photographed throughout my house or on location, if I make the Stage 1 goal, I can finally open up to renting true studio space to open up my vision. I've found one where studio space can be rented out for $30 dollars an hour.

Stage 2 Total - $3680

PAWN MOVE #3 Funding - Adds the ability to hire a makeup artist for some of the more elaborate body painting works.

Stage 3 Total - $5980

PAWN MOVE #4 Funding - Allows for the printing and framing of the 23 works for display.

Stage 4 Total - $8280

PAWN MOVE #5 Funding - At this stage, anything above this amount can only unexpectedly add to make this a full experience. The higher the funding, the more people I can bring this on to be a full production. Costumes can get more elaborate, I could purchase new up-to-date equipment, hire performers and set designers. Basically the overall production value of the show increases for what is a very final bow to a long chapter. This potentially may be come a thesis if I find a life choice to be to actually go back to school for this. I leave that in your good graces as I understand that at times Kickstarter is considered public begging for some and an opportunity for one to really explore their ideas. 

If in the insane realm that things go above 12K this point for funding, I'll be able to offer up a limited published version of the trilogy as a Blurb book as an incentive and at the opening.

The Kickstarter Exclusive Incentives

Postcards from "Beautiful Layered Lies"
Postcards from "Beautiful Layered Lies"
Postcards from "Ugly Simple Truths"
Postcards from "Ugly Simple Truths"

The (4x6) Postcard Prints from The "Chasing Jabberwocks" series exclusive to Kickstarter Donors at this size. Signature will be printed on cards, but hand addressed by the artist.

"Heroes + Villains" Comic Print Options
"Heroes + Villains" Comic Print Options

The (6.67x10) Comic Book Prints that will be sleeved and boarded just like comics. All images are exclusive to kickstarter donors at this size. Prints will be hand-signed by the artist.

Artist's "Stream of Consciousness" CD, package designed and signed by the artist.

I will also be offering up one-of-a-kind Looking Glass Masks and other props from the series. 

Depending on how much is raised adds new incentives and rewards. Be on the look out as things progress. Currently without this current show, the art book for the Wonderland Divine Comedy is currently over 100 pages in length. 

In Closing

If you have made it this far all I can do is end this with a thank you for taking the time to learn more about my work and series in it's entirety. This kickstarter project’s success is based on your support and belief in what has been presented. I plan on this being the predominant focus of my year with the show being unveiled on the 3 year anniversary of Beautiful Layered Lies in October/November.

If you cannot contribute financially it is absolutely ok. Money is not required to be a hero. Spreading the word or following me on my artist page www.facebook.com/philipbonneau makes all the difference in reaching more people. The more that are aware of this goal, the more likely I will be to reach my goals for my "Brave New Secrets"

If you would like to view my "Heroes + Villains" series, (you can see it and more of my work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pbonne20/sets/72157628609086885/ 

-Philip Bonneau

Risks and challenges

For me I never have failed an obligation. I successfully sent out all the incentives from my last kickstarter in a timely manner and very actively updated all throughout and beyond. When people believe in me nothing can stop me from saying thank you and showing that it was money well spent.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Random Act of Kindness - Any donations of $5 or more will get email updates, keeping you informed of the project as it progresses, complete with outtake photos, creative millings, video diary and music from Brave New Secrets

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    Email Updates and an exclusive Kickstarter postcard showcasing one of the images from the Divine Comedy series hand addressed by the artist. (Images selected at this print size limited only to donors of the show)

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    Email Updates and set of (5) postcards from the Beautiful Layered Lies series.

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    Email Updates and set of (5) postcards from the Beautiful Layered Lies series and (5) postcards from never before seen images from "Ugly Simple Truths"

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    Email Updates and set of (5) postcards from the Beautiful Layered Lies series and (5) postcards from never before seen images from "Ugly Simple Truths" plus the 2-hour stream of consciousness music mix made for the entire Divine Comedy in a Jewel Case CD designed by the artist.

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    Email Updates and set of (5) postcards from the Beautiful Layered Lies series and (5) postcards from never before seen images from "Ugly Simple Truths" and 1 (comic book-sized print) from my "Heroes + Villains" series never before available. (Donors choice of the 5 hand selected images)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Email Updates and set of (5) postcards from the Beautiful Layered Lies series and (5) postcards from never before seen images from "Ugly Simple Truths" and 2 (comic book-sized print) from my "Heroes + Villains" series never before available and the Stream of Consciousness CD (Donors choice of the 5 hand selected images)

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    Email Updates and set of (5) postcards from the Beautiful Layered Lies series and (5) postcards from never before seen images from "Ugly Simple Truths" and 5 (comic book-sized print) from my "Heroes + Villains" series never before available and the Stream of Consciousness CD

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    Email Updates and set of (5) postcards from the Beautiful Layered Lies series and (5) postcards from never before seen images from "Ugly Simple Truths" and 5 (comic book-sized print) from my "Heroes + Villains" series never before available), the Stream of Consciousness CD, and 1 handmade mirror mask prop from the series (prop delivered after opening)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Email Updates and set of (5) postcards from the Beautiful Layered Lies series and (5) postcards from never before seen images from "Ugly Simple Truths" and 5 (comic book-sized print) from my "Heroes + Villains" series never before available), the Stream of Consciousness CD, 1 handmade mirror mask prop from the series and 1 signed copy of the Entire "Chasing Jabberwocks" Divine Comedy that will be self-published prior to the show opening along with a personalized letter from the artist. (Book availability will be closer to the show opening in October)

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Funding period

- (23 days)