For the next fortnight, independent Sydney publishing collective Rainoff Books has set up a temporary curated bookstore in Surry Hills. The store launched last week with a party celebrating the release of Pretty Telling I Suppose, the new photographic collection by Sydney artist Samuel Hodge. Hodge’s photography allows us short glimpses into his subject’s most intimate experiences, enabling us to experience life as someone else. But only for a moment. Hodge renders permanent those everyday fleeting moments often forgotten: a lover’s admiring glance, a sibling’s warm touch, grandfather’s knowing look.
Your book is called Pretty Telling I Suppose. Do the pictures tell a specific story?
‘The photos are all pretty simple. I don’t really think about it or want to force an emotion on someone, the subject or the viewer. When I talk about the photos, I like to do it individually like in a slideshow event or something like that – That way I can tell the actual story behind each individual photo!’
Do you have a favourite image in the book you can tell us the story behind?
‘Favourite images are probably the ones that make me terribly nostalgic, like a photograph of an ex’s birth mark, for example. I know it’s not very cool to be sentimental, but I can’t help it! I’m going to be one of those annoying old people.’
How did you start out as a photographer?
‘I used to think my passion in life was to be a film maker but while working in film I realised it wasn’t really for me. I was given the job of taking screen shots from movies I had been working on; that’s how I discovered the still image. Then someone gave me an old camera from 1967 and the rest is history. I still use that camera today’.
Rainoff Books ‘Curated Temporary Bookstore’ is located at 25/114 Burton Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, and will feature hand-picked works by Australian and International publishers.