Everyone has a story to tell. It just might be that some people’s stories are more complicated than others.
Some people’s stories might end up becoming a huge twist to the plot line in someone else’s story. For some people’s stories, the concept of a beginning, middle, and end is nigh on laughable.
There is no linear way for us to tell you the story of the Samples of Society: Metamorphosis. It takes us from Dallas, to Rio, back to Dallas, and even to our humble little town of Poole - and that’s just the geography of the film, let alone the plot. But we can tell you that it’s been a hefty influence on Gorilla Perfumes Volume IV and Metamorphosis bath bomb. And if we all take something from it, perhaps we’ll be able to make society a warmer place, together.
Hal Samples, a photographer from Dallas, Texas, started Samples of Society many, many moons ago. “I had achieved all the success I could dream of in corporate, but it hadn’t filled a God-sized hole. So I burned all of that down. I found myself going through a period of metamorphosis which lead me to have an appreciation for the simpler things. My roommate let me borrow a camera and I found it was a tool that allowed me to see things differently. I took the camera to the streets and it allowed me to connect with people I would normally never connect with. One of those people told me that they just wanted the power to be visible - and from then, I used cameras to give a voice to individuals that normally wouldn’t have one. That’s how the inception of Samples of Society came about.”
The project took many an unexpected twist and turn, and a lot of the people Hal references became our Blackcurrant Angels - the inspirations for our Volume 4 perfumes, as well as a short series of animations that aim to give a voice to the homeless. Perhaps the most renowned of the people Hal met is Tachowa Covington, a ‘rentless’ man who lived inside a water tank on the edge of L.A, which fell under the public eye when world-famous artist Banksy tagged it. Fast-forward through a considerable whirlwind of events and emotions and Hal and Tachowa ended up at the Gorilla pop-up shop in Edinburgh, where they met our own Simon Constantine.
And maybe that brings us to the beginning of one part of the story - or at least, the part where Gorilla started to play a part in it. We could probably tell you more, but to find out the full story, it’s probably best you experience the documentary for yourself. It’s a bumpy ride, but it’s a fun one.
Hear what other members of society had to say when watching the documentary for the first time.
Watch the first instalment, Samples of Society: Metamorphosis a Pilot to the series here. The rest of the episodes will be released Summer 2017. Follow along with Gorilla Arthouse and their social channels for updates on these characters and their incredible stories.