If you were to describe what you see in this photo it seems it wouldn’t take you very long. A young woman sits on a bed with several cushions around her. She’s holding her foot. But if you look again and closer, there’s a lot more to be seen: she’s wearing tights, with a shimmer, the sort you’d wear to a party. She’s wearing little more. But is that because she will soon be leaving, dressed in her most vivacious dress, for which she is now getting ready?

She holds one foot and with her other hand she strokes her leg, a movement that has barely visibly been captured. And even though we don’t see her face, we do see that she’s watching what she is doing. Or do we just imagine that? The strange thing is that you almost complete the image of her face and expression in your minds eye: a little absent, expectantly for what’s to come, whilst she simultaneously hesitates to undertake action.

But perhaps there’s something quite different to be seen.


She has returned from a party and now asks herself half undressed what the night has brought her. For a moment before she continues to undress she brushes without thought her stockinged leg, a moment before she sleeps, a moment of intimacy and stillness.
You feel that she cherishes this moment, that she’s aware of what is next to come, but that she wants to postpone it for a moment.
In a distinctive way this photo is about both of these moments: about expectations of what is to come and about the reflection after an event.
This is captured in one photo and it depends on our perception, on our state of mind perhaps, what we get out of it. Mirjam Tonnaer demonstrates how a photo that reveals seemingly little, has much to tell.


Anthon Fasel

Mirjam Tonnaer