Sitting between the desire to leave and a love for those who’ve stayed, Before this comes to pass centres on the feeling of not quite wanting to be here but not really wanting to say goodbye. Rochelle Marie Adam’s debut monograph is imbued with love and care, attention directed to what makes each person and place worth loving, but also worth leaving. Like a buoyancy one gains only from cutting ties, the cities and suburbs shown are both comfortable but also empty: profoundly solitary and overwhelmingly lived in. Adam’s photos trace feelings of joy amidst an undercurrent of dread. As old friends become old friends, house mates because house bound and the suburbs now feel not just dull but desolate, Adam’s work shows the subtle details that point to closeness, the worlds we build for ourselves through the things we own and the visibility of our relationships.
Yet far from hard or critical, those shown are always viewed as connected, loved and noticed: even as domestic life itself may feel worrisome, those who live it are always photographed tenderly and kindly, with conviction and respect. Adams’ work asks: what is the space between restless and settling down? What is the feeling between appreciation and worry? What do we make for ourselves when given the chance?
92 pages, 17 x 24 cm, softcover, Tall Poppy Press (Melbourne).