|Holly Hunt realized from a young age that she was interested in art. She grew up in a home surrounded (and inspired) by images taken by her grandfather, Roger Higgins, who was a photographer. Roger worked for the New York World-Telegram & Sun from the mid 1950’s through the late 1960’s and created some of the most iconic images ever taken (i.e., famous portraits of Dali, Capote, Charles Schultz, etc.). Although she never met him (he passed away before she was born), his work as a photographer had a great influence on her.|
Holly is a Long Island native and grew up in Huntington, NY. Her photographic interests are many but her main genre is not what some would consider “normal”. She specializes in photographing “the abandoned” – in her words: “I explore the spaces that most fear, the world of the left-behind or abandonment, and capture their beauty with my camera.” When asked why, she replied: “I have always been interested in showcasing the beauty that resides within the walls of the abandoned, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I began to realize that these spaces provided me with a sense of peace and belonging, and they now help tell my story by triggering memories within me that I have blocked away or forgotten.” Photography has become, for Holly, her therapy as it is for many artists. Her photography of the abandoned led her to author a book, exploring HOME – a 200-page autobiographical photo book that features 100 images of her work paired with 100 short stories about her life.
An excerpt from her book:
“So many have asked why I photograph abandonment. To me, it’s more than the decay or what people leave behind. Rather, it is the why. It’s the when. It’s the how. Sometimes we can research it. And other times we have to imagine it. Since the first day I started photographing abandonment, I have felt that it has been my mission to bring these places back to life and show the world that even if something is left to rot or to decay, it can still thrive.
That even if something has given up and is barely holding on, there is life. It can still survive through any catastrophe or anything Mother Nature wants to throw its way. And that it can still be beautiful. That is how my photographic collection Abandoned Beauties was born.”
In 2016 her collection “Abandoned Beauties” was born. Two years prior, she brought her camera with her into an abandoned psychiatric hospital. As she crawled into a dark, narrow hole in the ground, and entered a basement full of cobwebs, debris, falling plaster and rotted wood, something wonderful transpired within her. She found her true calling in the photography world, and that was to showcase the beauty that resides within the world of the left-behind.
Holly’s biggest achievement, aside from her wonderful, haunting photographic images and her new book, is receiving an award for her image “The Wait” by the Heckscher Museum of Art in 2021.
Below are two images from her book.
To see more of Holly’s work, you can view her website where you can also purchase a copy of her book – exploring HOME: https://www.hollyhuntphotography.com/
Or view her Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/abandoned_beauties_by_hhp/
Holly also has a page dedicated to her grandfather, Roger Higgins: https://www.hollyhuntphotography.com/rogers-art.htm
|Excerpt – The Theater: “This is my goodbye to that last spotlight. It is my farewell to the days of grand playhouses, flouncy, flamboyant gowns, crowds in synchronized laughter, uproarious applause, and to the unfortunate day when the last theater will shutter its doors. The lights will go dark, and in that moment, every actor—past and present—will never experience again that feeling they did, standing on a stage.”|
|Excerpt – Some Bunny: “When sixteen months ended, the inevitable happened. My biggest supporter of my photography, my biggest fan of my creativity, my best friend, the reason why I’m in this world, the most positive and beautiful person in my life, the one who was always by my side, died. And just like that, she was gone. The world around me crumbled some more, except now I felt alone. And that seat beside me was empty for the first time in forty-two years.”|