Love Stories Review @ Brisbane Festival 2021

'Love Stories' 'Love Stories'

Conceived by journalist Trent Dalton, ‘Love Stories’ is a passion project that provides insight into those who live homeless on our streets.

Trent and photographer David Kelly video recorded interviews of people they met at 3rd Space, which provides support and meals for those who need help getting back on their feet. These interviews give voice to those often shuffled past lying on the street. If you have ever wondered, 'who are they? How did they end up in such circumstances? Can they possibly make a better life for themselves?', ‘Love Stories’ hints at the answers but doesn’t spell them out, perhaps because, like all of us, the people seen here are still a work in progress.

The journalist has previously covered this world, and his subjects seem comfortable talking to him. This familiarity allows him to get to the crux of the matter by asking them what they think of love. The answers they provide range from the sublime to the mundane, for example advice given by one billiards-obsessive interviewee about mental focus wouldn’t be out of place in a workplace training seminar.

Love Stories 2021
Image - Lloyd Marken

While the video interviews play on a big screen, they are accompanied by the music of quintet Topology and guitarist Karin Schaupp. An early piece strikes a cheerful note, not quite matching the tales of the interviewees discussing their earliest loves. For the most part though, the music perfectly accompanies the stories being told, adding to the emotional impact of each tale without drawing attention to itself. A highlight occurs when somebody sings in their interview and Karin plays in time with them live on stage. An act of bridging that eloquently provides a metaphor for what we can all do – to better connect with those featured in Trent’s interviews.

The stories are sprinkled with humour, pathos, and wisdom, those who speak seem to know they’ve lived a different life for quite a while at this point and maybe a normal one isn’t on the cards for them. Yet love. . . Whether it be a passion for something to do in their day, care to be shown by them or to them, or acceptance that will offer them a chance for internal peace. They remain hopeful that love is still within their grasp and hopefully it remains so for us all.



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