In her series, Stoned in Melanchol, Megan Doherty flips small-town banality on its head by transforming it into its own alternate universe, one that celebrates youth, sub-culture, and freedom. It was made as a form of escapism for herself and her friends.
The University of Ulster graduate remarks, "Days in Derry are long. There's not a whole lot to do except hang out, wasting time." It was such small-town boredom that encouraged her to pick up a camera in the first place: "I hated how I had tread every street a million times," she says and describes herself back then as "restless, bored, claustrophobic".
She believes 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," Megan adds.
Despite using real people as her subjects, you could say Megan's series is a work of fiction. "I don't actually appear in any of the photographs," she admits, but her presence is felt. Through her images, we get to see Derry at night, behind closed curtains – one that's hidden and underground. We also get an insight into her own daydreams: "I suppose this is how I am present in the photographs without actually being featured."
London publisher, Setanta Books, has just reprinted Stoned in Melanchol by Megan Doherty since the first edition sold out completely. It comes in a choice of three covers with the familiar Rizla pack style box format. Containing 25 double-sided A3 folder posters. With a foreword by Fiona Rogers of Firecracker/ Webber Gallery.