Contemporary photographer Holly Andres specializes in telling compelling and dramatic stories, often rooted in her real-life experiences. Several series will be on display at MoNA, but the exhibit will begin with The Fallen Fawn. In this series, a woman leaves behind a suitcase with all her earthly possessions and it is found by two young sisters. In secret, the two girls go through the contents of the suitcase and discover many objects associated with adult femininity including red lipstick, a negligee, and high heels.
The series begins with two photographs that are almost completely devoid of color, except for the mysterious woman’s red nails and blue suitcase. The dramatic lighting, sense of dread, and lack of color remind us of a film noir or “dark film”. The rest of the series also has a cinematic quality and the viewer gets a glimpse inside of a world completely constructed by the photographer yet also familiar. It is difficult to place the vents in our world, but Andres has stated that the series is based her two older sisters’ experiences. The series is filled with contrasts and juxtapositions. The fallen fawn, menacing secrecy versus youthful naivety, and young girls exploring a mysterious woman’s suitcase are all a part of the complexity of the story.