photographyMel McVeigh

Inbetween

photographyMel McVeigh
Inbetween

Melbourne, Australia

Underneath her pillows she keeps her dreams.  Hidden from the world. Only for her to see. 

Far off lands and adventures. Knights in shiny armour rescue her from suburban malaise. 

Stories told under bedside lamps of worlds yet undiscovered.

She lives in between her dreams

Between daylight

Night and day

Love and limerance

Desire and contradiction

She can still remember those dreams. Photographs sealed inside envelopes. 

She lives outside in the real world now. The knights have vanished. Left there alone, still dreaming that one day. That maybe, one day her teenage dreams will come true.

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Opera, Paris


I sway to the music of this familiar place

With the my heart beating to rhythms of African drums 

Energy, like lightening, that ran through me

Seeking that fairytale bliss

 

Weeks before, years before or was it only moments ago, I had been here


In this Parisian bar with the music invading my soul

Over and over again, the same story of broken desires

Repeated moments, instant, forgotten and lost in the wilderness of my mind.


We stand so close to each other on the dance floor

But we are worlds apart

You mumble above the beat

What I ask, I can’t hear you?


I can’t do this, you say

I can’t do this, all the lovers say

I can’t plan to be with you

With you it can’t be pre-mediated


Then what about last night I ask?

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Inbetween is both a book of poetry and visual essay on intimacy and relationships.
The full series is on available on request.

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Artist Statement

Over the course of time, I photographed the beds I slept in while travelling or when I was hiding in hotels in London to escape my life. They are not styled, they are left as they are after I got out of bed in the morning to go to work, to see friends, to lay under the covers with lovers.

They are empty and devoid of any emotion. Sometimes I was alone sometimes I was not. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes it is not. The dishevelled beds represent moments gone and love imagined within the confines of these hotel rooms.

This story may focus on a few encounters but it could be any of the men or relationships I have experienced over the last five years. A playlist on repeat, it was the same story, the same words, the same actions over and over again. The location or accent may have been different but with the promise of adventures, I was seduced by their words and ignored the reality that these relationship were not real only imagined. 

These men were lost in life, always in flux and in-between. Lost in divorce, relationships and the need for escapism. To feel that there was something more to life than the drudgery of the everyday. 

For every single man I let into my life, I was a secret. These men never entered my life, met my friends or family. I never used their real names to share ancedotes which removed their identity.

You will never see any evidence of our relationships. No posts, no likes, no celebration of our time together. I have 100s of photos that have never been shared with anyone but me. 

So while these men were lost, so was I, I wanted and needed the sercret too. I built a life and a way to stay disconnected and safe from finding real connection and intimacy. One night, a few nights, a year. It was always the same story repeated over and over. I was the constant in this narrative living in a bubble to escape.

We existed only inside the hotel rooms we inhabited. We made bubbles for brief periods of time that were poetic, beautiful and in some cases very loving. Yet, after each one burst I was left with less ability to understand what a true relationship and love looked like. 

Initially it felt different and something more than the marriage I had walked away from. For a time I loved the drama, the cinematic tableaux, it all seemed romantic but after a while it became soul destroying. 

The impact to me was hard. I lost my self, my identity locked inside these bubbles. I drowned. For them, I was excitement before they settled down, had families, returned to girlfriends who became wives or found new loves happily in the open. For the last five years I have existed in-between.

This journey and story is not about them - it is about me. How I destroyed the final bubble, how I blew up my life, my career and my home, by ultimately asking for something more of and for myself. I walked away from men, lovers, relationships and friendships that were not celebrated in the light and finally walked out to live in the open and to live the life of my childhood dream.