Veneer

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

Saint Michael Prayer

Secrets. We all have secrets. Hidden, just below the surface…behind the veneer.

They seemed like a typical family, really

Donald, the dad, was a door-to-door salesman who worked his way up to area manager. He enjoyed a few beers and a game of poker with the lads every Friday night at the factory. His father before him worked in a candle-making factory in Footscray until made redundant. He had a strict Catholic upbringing, went to a good Catholic school. Bad things happened there, things you don’t talk about, choose not to remember.

Donald left school at 15 and did various odd jobs in factories around Footscray until joining up. Two years in New Guinea. The war was hard on him. When he finally got back home, well, he was never the same again, kept it all close to his chest.

He finally married Betty, a local Footscray girl. 1952 it was and Don Jnr followed 6 months later. Couldn’t afford a place of their own, so they settled in a room at his parents house. All their friends left Footscray for better opportunities. Altona, Sunshine, St Albans, but Donald refused to move, Footscray born and bred.

Don Jnr was a soft and gentle boy. He was a dreamer, that’s all. But he dreamt of silk, satin, flowing pretty things. The dad blamed the mother, said she had been too soft on him. He caught Don Jnr once, in her room, her clothes everywhere.

Poor Betty lived in fear. Fear of the neighbours prying eyes, fear of Father Donnelly’s sermons and fear of her husband.

Then there was the girl, Jeanne, largely ignored. She used to be the apple of her daddy’s eye. 17 going on 25, she was. Tempted by so many things and no-one cared.

Secrets. We all have secrets. Hidden, just below the surface…behind the veneer.

Created in 2013 for my final folio and graduation exhibition images for Diploma of Photography at NMIT

Text and images ©Arrayah Loynd 2021