When I was a kid, I really, really wanted to be part of a club. I wanted it more than anything. The only problem was, I wasn’t good at any of the things that I needed to be good at to be part of one of the after-school societies. I tried joining the chess team for a while, but the others could tell I wasn’t as enthusiastic as I should be, and the one time I tried out for the netball team it was a complete disaster. I lasted longest in golf club, which I only joined because I liked the idea of wearing golf socks, and there was a school requirement that meant I had to do some kind of physical activity. It took me a long time to realise that being part of a club wasn’t about the cool clothes or doing it because you had to, but really it was about being around like-minded people and doing something that you love. When I got to University, I joined a Film Club, and knew that I’d finally found my home.
Ursula Sprecher and Andi Cortellini’s weird and intriguing photographs of clubs and societies are such a joy, because they bring together groups of like-minded people who you know have finally found their nook in the world. Some of the clubs that Ursula and Andi photograph you really can’t believe exist, like the hat club, or the poodle club, or even the tupperware party club. The staged photographs collected in HobbyBuddies can be humorous, others are oddly touching, and all are dedicated to the “joy of pursuing a common cause or shared idea," which we think is a really wonderful thing to devote an entire project to.