The Summer of the Hornet's Nest - OZY | A Modern Media Company

The Summer of the Hornet's Nest

By Holly Andres


Because childhood can inspire compelling art.

This story in photographs tells the tale of two young sisters enticed by a curious-looking nest in the woods behind their house. The consequences of their discovery are devastating. As with Andres’ previous work, this work is loosely based on Andres’ own past. When she and an older sister came upon a similar nest, her sister was stung more than 100 times. (She survived and has two daughters of her own now.)

Although Andres, a painter by training, sometimes transforms her own home to match the vision she has for a photo essay, this time around she happened upon the perfect house at an estate sale. The woman who had just died had been 100 years old. ”It was just like walking into an immaculately art-directed set,” says Andres, ”and I instantly knew that I wanted to photograph there.” With the new owner’s permission, she shot this series over the course of five days. In “The Summer of the Hornet’s Nest,” we see a photographer’s fascination with cognitive dissonance — lively patterns, tons of yellow, punch and cake, all juxtaposed against a near-death encounter.


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