Megan Doherty: Stoned in Melanchol
In “Stoned in Melanchol” Megan flips small town banality on its head by turning it into its own alternate universe that celebrates youth, subculture, and freedom. The University of Ulster graduate says she uses the series as a form of escapism for herself and her friends.
“Days in Derry are long,” says Megan “There’s not a whole lot to do except hang out, wasting time”. Making pictures is her form of escape. “I hated how I had tread every street a million times,” explains Doherty of the reason she first picked up the camera. She was “restless, bored, claustrophobic”. Her friends were her salvation, and the more she photographed, the more people she met along the way. Like all good muses, they brought her into another world, one that was surprising and electric. “Essentially I am imposing my ideas of youth, freedom, beauty, and rebellion on to the landscape of small-town life.”
In many ways, Stoned in Melanchol is a work of fiction. Yes, these are real people from a very specific place, but they’re also a fantasy, a mirage. “I don’t actually appear in any of the photographs,” admits Doherty, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t there. She’s given us a roadmap to Derry’s underground scene, but she’s also taken us on a tour through her own daydreams: “I suppose this is how I am present in the photographs without actually being featured.”
Stoned in Melanchol is published by Sentanta.