Missoula native and University of Montana graduate Holly Andres has a new photography exhibit in New York, and international critics are taking notice.
The Wall Street Journal called it "vividly cinematic" and ran a Q&A about the shooter's creative process. International photo blog Le Lettre "found the tension between the photos of the children and their lightness and spontaneity and the photos of the adults with their deliberateness and sense of purpose to be intriguing and engaging." Oregon Public Broadcasting (Andres now lives in Portland) called each image "a snapshot of a lively scene, almost like a still frame captured right out of a movie."
Andres' work is intensely personal, and much of it traces back to her childhood in Missoula as the youngest of 10 children.
“When I look back at my childhood, it was filled with a lot of joy and also some dysfunction and pain, but I think we can all relate to that,” Andres told the Indy in 2008, on the eve of her debut at the Missoula Art Museum. “With this series, I was interested in conveying some of the secretive and dark elements of childhood, but also convey that it’s ultimately survivor-able.”
The same themes appear in her latest work, titled "The Fall of Spring Hill." Andres describes the series as "an incident from a summer church camp in which a child injures himself by falling from a dilapidated wooden play structure and the mothers' fierce reaction to deconstruct it in retribution."
She told the Wall Street Journal it's "derived from a distant but poignant early childhood memory."