Carriageworks together with BresicWhitney has commissioned artist Samuel Hodge to create a striking series of photos of the local area.

The 30 photographic works present a hyper-real interpretation of a dynamic suburb. Using props and costumes, Hodge hopes to present, “a parallel universe version of Redfern.”

“I’m not a resident of Redfern. So I’m not in a position to make a comment on the suburb itself. Instead, I’m creating another level of space for the place. It’s all a bit fantastical,” he says. Hodge is a Sydney-based photomedia artist whose work has appeared in galleries, online and in print. His work has always been personal and raw; in his 2013 show A Line From a Book or a Song! he experimented with fantasy by recreating remembered encounters with strangers and friends with full hair and make up.

The images depict members of the local community. One of the pieces shows a duel frame of a muscled man in a sequined jacket. A paper bag on his head reads, “I love you”, and then, in the second frame, “Or do I?” It’s this type of strange and striking art that Hodge says will draw out the essence of Redfern.

“I’m going to magnify and turn up the volume in my representation of the area. This won’t be a stereotypical version of what we always see in Redfern. It will be something different, something weird.”

The photographic works are shared as part of an Instagram competition, too. The community is encouraged to share their own images inspired by the area with the hashtag #redfernlife.

Carriagworks hopes this project will inspire people to create as well as observe. And that the online series will form a tapestry of images that represent the essence of Redfern.

The competition runs for four weeks and the winner will receive a 10-year Friends Membership to Carriageworks and an original print by Hodge. The announcement will be made on Thursday May 14.