This was taken a few years back when I was putting together an exhibition called Same Place, Different Face. It's the front bar at the old Esplanade Hotel, 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. When I was growing up, it was only single mothers, prostitutes, artists, addicts, pensioners and the like that lived there. Not like today, how it's fancypants and expensive.
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, 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 meant 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.
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.