The Fall of Spring Hill continues Holly Andres‘s examination of personal narrative and feminine subjectivity. In large-scale, lush color images, Andres ponders the complexity of childhood, the fleeting nature of memory, and female introspection. This new work is the most recent chapter in an on-going photographic project depicting short melodramas of fictitious families. These are personal accounts of childhood memories in which mothers performed heroic acts in an attempt to protect their children.
Through a suite of 13 photographs The Fall of Spring Hill illustrates 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.
Andres’s photographic practice, in which she is both director and photographer, calls on the visual history of cinema, and often employs pacing conventions found in traditional narrative film. The Fall of Spring Hill is sequenced in such a way to imply parallel action between the mothers in the church kitchen preparing food and the children playing outside. Suggestive imagery such as a cup of coffee shattering on the kitchen floor symbolizes the young boy’s fall as he is tenderly passing a caterpillar to another child. Serving as a metaphor for the boy’s wound is the stillness of a blood red punchbowl, which also implies the moment when the mothers abandon their kitchen duties and transform into an army of matriarchal heroines.