For three years in the ’70s, Hugh Holland captured thousands of moments inside Hollywood’s skate scene right before it transitioned from an “unruly after-school activity”, to a sport endorsed by branding and protected by helmets. Holland shot everything on repackaged, unused movie film, which gave the images the “soft warm look of old movies” that he so admired. For decades, these images were sitting in crates in Holland’s house, waiting to be rediscovered and eventually showcased in Sydney mid last year.
He says style may be a big factor as to why people are so captivated by the dreamy shots, with even former American Apparel CEO Dov Cheney, who bought one of his images to hang in a store – which is no surprise considering the clothes look like they’re right off the AA racks. Eventually Holland lost interest in capturing the scene, “Things began to change. It started with skateparks and contests – suddenly all the skaters were dressed up in t-shirts with company logos on them. And knee pads and elbow pads and helmets. I was interested in that shirtless, no socks, no shoes time.”