Merewether Beach Dec 19 and 20, 2009.

22 Dec 2009 0 Share

International photographer Kent Mathews has recently completed a portrait series at Bestival, the largest fancy dress party in the world.

Kent photographed over 300 people in 2 days in a specially constructed portrait studio at the festival, the idea being to photograph people against a stark white background removed from their normal environment. He shot many artists that were playing at the festival including Lilly Allen, Mika, and Florence and the Machine in addition to the festival goers. (Check Kent's website here.)

Now based in Sydney, Kent has embarked on a similar portrait project in Australia hoping to capture the sprit of the surfing community on the east coast.

Inspired by Tim Winton's novel Breath, Kent is psyched to shoot a broad cross section of people who ride waves, capturing the personality of surfing, paying homage to the pioneers and looking forward to the new generation of surfers in Australia.

Kent will be setting up his white background portrait studio at a whole bunch of iconic breaks in NSW and QLD over the Christmas and New Year period, shooting portraits of young, old, male and female surfers as they come out of the water.

Mat Hoy

Mat Hoy

Matt Hoy. Former WCT touring pro.

What was the best east coast swell?
July 2001
How would life have been different without surfing in it?
Hard question, surfing's my life, maybe would have got into Rugby League as that's my second big passion or maybe BMX
Mat had just returned from 12 days in hawaii ...

This first series of portraits are from Kent's inaugural shoot last weekend Dec 19 and 20 at Merewether. The surf was small, onshore and 2ft max from the SE.

Still though, an interesting cross section of cats rocked up to the beach. Four times world champion MR, and former touring pro Matt Hoy hit their local for a weekend paddle, so were among the 100 or so crew Kent pointed his lens at.

Merewether was, and still is one of the strongest board riding clubs in Aus. During the 80's and 90's Merewether used to field a ridiculously strong team in The Quicksilver Surf League and Kirra Teams Titles etc. Just off the top of my head I can remember crew like MR, Luke Egan, Nicky Wood, Simon Law, Matt Hoy, Chad Edser and co leading an extended squad to victory in both events. Of course there was also The Mattara Pro Am (still running today) and Surfest up the road etc.

Anyway. Stay tuned to Coastalwatch in the coming weeks as Curious Kent visits more iconic east coast beaches. Who knows who he may run into next?

Curious Kent – Potraiture from The Pacific is proudly supported by Coastalwatch.

- Ben Horvath. (Coastalwatch editor.)

Ian Fletcher

Ian Fletcher

Ian Fletcher 16.

How long have you been surfing?
1 year
How often do you go out?
I go out every day ( After raising money for the Clown Doctors with his 100 day surf challenge Ian is now aiming for 365 days. )
What do you love?
Love the ocean and surfing.
What do you hate?
I don't hate anything; i am a very positive person, though actually come to think of it I do hate seaweed.

Sophie.

Sophie.

Sophie - 14.

What do you love?
I love the beach.
What do you hate?
I hate bluebottles.
How long have you been surfing?
Ages but haven't been out for a while
Worried about climate change?
Not hugely though mum is. She has solar heating and everything in our house.

Sam Peterson

Sam Peterson

Sam Peterson 26.

Why do you surf?
The solitude in the early morning, it's a form of therapy, the ocean is very humbling.
What do you love?
Love music.
What do you hate?
Don't hate much, except maybe expectations.

Mark Richards

Mark Richards

Mark Richards. 4 X World Champion.

How long have you been surfing?
Since I was 5 years old.
Worried about climate change?
I believe it should be more grass roots than at a government level. Human beings should be more responsible.
How would your life have been different without surfing in it?
Life wouldn't be as much fun and I would be a lot fatter.

Merewether on Saturday Dec 19, 2009. 1-2ft Sth swell with SE/NE winds.

Merewether on Saturday Dec 19, 2009. 1-2ft Sth swell with SE/NE winds.

Merewether on Sunday Dec 20, 2009. 2ft plus Sth swell with SSE winds.

Merewether on Sunday Dec 20, 2009. 2ft plus Sth swell with SSE winds.

Kent's Itenary:
Yamba/Spooky Beach: Fri December 25.

Angourie: Sat December 26.

Byron Bay: Sun December 27 - Mon December 28.

Noosa National Park/Boiling Pot: Sat January 2 - Sun January 3.

Burleigh Heads. Gold coast: Mon January 4 - Tue January 5.

Kirra. Gold Coast: Wed January 6 - Thur January 7.

South West Rocks: Fri January 8 - Sat January 9.

Crescent Head: Sun Jan 10 - Mon Jan 11.

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