Photographer Holly Hunt first entered the world of the deserted four years ago, when she crawled into a hole in the ground four and “ended up in a basement somewhere.”
She was on a mission to capture images and, camera in hand, she’s been shooting abandoned prisons, hospitals, factories and residences ever since.
Now Hunt is presenting her first solo show, “Abandoned Beauties,” at Clovis Point in Jamesport. It includes close-ups of discarded dolls and toy trucks, images from a closed psychiatric facility, photos of defunct and debris-ridden factories and more.
“What I find interesting are the things people left behind,” she said. “To me, it’s about finding beauty in things people don’t care about or that nature has taken over.”
Additionally, all the photos are displayed in antique 19th- and 20th-century frames, which are included in the purchase price.
“I felt as though my pieces needed to be in frames that looked as if they were hanging on the walls in these places,” she said.
Hunt, who lives in Shirley, doesn’t disclose the locations of her subject matter, but notes that they are mostly in the tri-state area. She seeks out locations and also occasionally pulls over when driving and inspiration strikes.
The photos receive minimal manipulation in Photoshop and she uses mostly natural light to shoot, she said. Working without a flash allows for more dramatic scenes, but also helps her avoid attracting attention.
Standouts in the 38-piece show are photos from an abandoned prison in Pennsylvania, which she had permission to enter. One striking image shows a stone-walled cell with a dirt floor and just a ribbon of sunlight entering from above.
A major inspiration for her work is her grandfather Roger Higgins, a photographer for the New York World-Telegram & The Sun who shot black-and-white street photography and portraits in the mid-20th century. (Examples are posted on her website.) Although Mr. Higgins died a decade before Hunt was born, she still cites him as a major influence.
“I saw what he was able to do and capture with a film camera and he inspired me,” she said.
“Abandoned Beauties” will be on display through Sept. 24, when there will be a closing reception will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
To see more of Hunt’s work, visit hollyhuntphotography.com.