1. Skirts are best worn without undies.
“Transforming the banality and monotony of small-town life into an alternate reality; my work serves as a form of escapism for both my subjects and myself,” Irish photographer, Megan Doherty explains in her new project, Stoned in Melanchol. She transforms her hometown, Derry, into a neon fairytale where the inhabitants flutter about in the sultry nights.
2. Pain and drugs make me feel alive.
It was monotony and boredom that drove her to pick up the camera, “I hated how I had tread every street a million times,” she reveals. Her friends became muses and superheroes that allowed her to purge from her mind the sense of restlessness.
3. Shame is for fools.
Megan Doherty captures the realities of living in a town where nothing changes and everything is static. Megan was able to escape and pursue an artistic career, but even then she casts a wistful glance at her past. “Everything I hated is now everything that I miss,” she laments. Friends, familiarity, and family have replaced the triad of drugs, melancholy, and alcohol.
4. Melancholy is measured in cigarette smokes.
5. Daylight is for sleeping.
6. Home is where you can smoke and get high with no regrets.
7. No color can define happiness.
She is keen to point out that she doesn’t regret leaving Derry because, after all, the memories she has of this place have been immortalized in her work. Her body carries the traces of her melancholy and vice, and it gives her strength to move freely in life, “getting lost is a way to make life a little more appealing,” she admits.
8. The kiss is a fraternal caress.
9. Sex is man’s greatest pleasure, and you have to seek it out.
In an ideal world, people walk down the streets naked and free without fear or shyness. When there is a drug for everyday of the week, walking down a street a thousand times and crossing the vast oceans feels the same. Time and reality are altered into something extraordinary. Here, there, or anywhere love can be found in the next corner. Freedom is not perfectly packaged, instead it is found in the cigarette butt that is smeared with lipstick and carelessly thrown on the floor. Happiness is in the slight breath of alcohol when you kiss someone.
10. Sex, drugs, and decadence are reasons for being.
11. Look me in the eye and see my nakedness.
This is a harsh world for the innocent, but for Megan Doherty these loves, excesses, and freedom are but a reflection of the realities of small town life. Getting rid of boredom and finding the next fix become the main fuel to keep on going.
12. A pill to make you smile everyday.
With a sip of alcohol and drugs in your system, a street you cross every single day becomes something entirely new.
13. Melancholy begins where the silence between two naked bodies grows.
14. Vices are best shared between friends.
15. By day we pretend to be normal.
Megan’s friends take the spotlight and her absence is keenly felt, and the reason behind this is that the artist, in her eyes, cannot influence the landscape. She is a silent observer capturing these unique moments. She gives them a space to be free and she captures that essence.
16. Devil rests at dawn.
17. Boredom is a curse best shared with others.
18. Nakedness is the best accessory.
19. A hug during dark times.
20. Erotic poetry is there to be heard.
21. There is no room for criticism.
22. Friends, alcohol and sex are a must in a small town.
23. Don’t look at me if all you wish for is normalcy.
24. Waking up with a cigarette is better than with a kiss.
25. No road leads home.
Stoned in Melanchol combines drugs, alcohol, and melancholy in a visceral and objective way. The people that are captured embody this triad and their efforts to escape. “Reality doesn’t compare to the world that can exist in your head,” she concludes.