Thursday, January 3, 2008

An oldie but a goodie...


The front bar at The Espy

This was taken a few years back when I was putting together an exhibition called Same Place, Different Face. It's the interior of the downstairs bar at the Prince of Wales, St Kilda. This exhibition was all about capturing the changing cultural face of St Kilda.
I collaborated with two woman who I had been to photography school with, neither of whom lived in St Kilda or had any history there, apart from being visitors. I however, had lived there for the majority of my life, as had my Mum before me, my Grandmother before her and my Great Grandmother as well.
So I had a bit of history in the area, both good and bad. After all, when I was growing up there, it was only single mothers, prostitutes, artists, addicts, pensioners and the like that lived there. Not like today, how it's all fancypants and expensive. So that was the life that I grew up around, actually was totally immersed in.
It was just me and my Mum for a long time and she really struggled with life. She passed away when I was 16 and we held her funeral at the Church at the top of Acland Street, on the corner of Eildon Road (the road I spent my childhood growing up on).
When it came time to capture all that was important to me about St Kilda on film, I found it difficult as it brought up a lot of memories and nostalgia. Sometimes, I didn't want to go there (in my head) and sometimes I did. It did mean that I wasn't 100 per cent focussed on the project at all times. Occasionally I needed to bury my head and pretend it wasn't happening.
Well, this didn't go down well with the ladies I was collaborating with and we had a falling out. We managed to get through the exhibition and the opening, but since then we have not really spoken and I have never had the opportunity to explain why I wasn't always fully present.
I really love this photo. When I look at it, I see all of the above and more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shall I be the first to leave a comment? Yes, I think I shall! I wonder if I had stayed in St Kilda, if I'd have had such passionat feelings about the place. I can remeber what it was like when I was there in regards to the type of people that were living there then, that was the main reason my parents decided to move. It must have been so hard for you when you lost your Mum, I had been back in touch with Elizabeth South for a little while during High School, and she had told me about her. You obviously had alot of people around you who offered their love and support because you seem to hvae grown into a very strong woman! And one who is a keen (and very good) photographer! I had no idea you had an interest in it, but then again, how many people know at 11 what they'll develop a keen interest in? I did see your pics in the MX recently too. It startled me because when I saw your name, I was like, I know her!!! Well done Bindi, you should be very proud of yourself! I can add to your pics if you like, I found my school photos the other day, I might scan them and put them on Facebook!!! If I'm going to be embarrassed by them, you can be embarrassed with me!!!

From Rachel!