CARVE FOCUS - Matt Smith
Introduction - Mickey Smith
For me the whole point of clearing space for this corner in CARVE, is to allow a small place to focus creatively on some of surfing’s real individuals, and bring a sense of their personal vibe back into the cold monotony of surf journalism. I want to let the photography and the individual do the talking, and cut the bullshit hype out of things.
I’m inspired by the folk I meet doing what I do, and I want to give something back to them. From my point of view, everyone has their own missions, their own hopes and dreams, and you have to fight a long time, riding out heavy highs and lows to achieve the things you believe in. I admire those with the resilience to keep pushing forwards...
I’ve been on the road in one way or another since I was eleven years old. Travelling and living on the move for a while, it teaches you a thing or two. Some unexpected lessons and a fair few obvious ones.
Situations change fast and you learn to appreciate that a little more. You end up drawn toward looking for the good in small things, and as a result, annoyance at the minutiae of the mundane begins to dissolve, it even starts becoming pretty funny.
Happiness boils down to keeping a simple sense of perspective all these years later.
There’s so much negativity and cynicism shoved down our throats all day long. I think it’s important to remember us humans can achieve some pretty cool things to, however small.
For me, I dig working and playing with cameras. They help me translate and interpret the radness of life in my own way, and hopefully pass on a little of that magic around us all the time.
I feel like cameras have a little life of their own. People will say “hey their just machines man”, but like some lads have their magic boards, I’ve found a mad connection with certain rigs.
They have their own minds, own bodies, and most importantly, their own eyes, and can produce something unexpected or extraordinary, beyond what you thought you’d originally seen through them.
They take what you tell them to see, combine it with what they actually see, then translate that into a format everyone can try and relate to. It’s a pretty trippy process but it gets me out of bed in the morning. That and the smell of waves, or the incessant ticking of tunes in my head.
I like to think there is something deeper and playful at work inside all of us, and if we let that something breathe we can make choices to let us relate, feel inspired, connect and feel hopeful.
Whatever we’re into and whatever we do, there’s beauty there, and if your motivations are coming from a genuine place, that weird unknown something will help you get wherever it is you need to go, if you trust it.
Probably sounds like a load of geeky dribble, but it’s trust thats got me through some tough times to better times, and will do again.
This issues ‘Focus’ is all about a cat who really sums up all of the above. Matt Smith is the genuine article, a man with a big heart full of integrity. A one time St Ives boy through and through, at 23 he’s since spent a lot of time lost in translation, searching for fresh uncharted experiences beyond the border.
Right now he dwells way out west in a barn with his girlfriend down at Lands End, where he works as head lifeguard at lonely ol’ Gwenvor. With some of the most beautiful coves in the county as his backyard, it’s clear he’s no fool.
I grew up here, and it seemed fitting the first of these photographic essays of sorts was set around the area I know best, with a lad who has just as much mad love fore the place.
Anyways, I’ll halt my own hype train right here before it accelerates to fast and derails...
Ladies and gents, a couplea days way out west with Matt Smith...