Name: Matthew
Last Name: Kay
Country: South Africa
Nominated by: John Fleetwood


‘The Front’ is an investigation, a revealing, of space. It documents the people who use the beachfront. It seeks to record the rapidly changing nature of the promenade by placing a marker as to what the space is now at this point in time. The Front’ confronts diversity, identity, and multi-functionality of shared public space. This body of work was about looking harder at a space I thought I knew and understood. The harder I looked the more I realized that I understood very little about a place that clearly was significant to so many people in so many different ways. The beach has a strangeness to it that is constantly visible but only when looked for. This project finds relevance in that it is often the quiet and disconnected moments we see that stay with us and challenge our perspectives.


Most people in South Africa have experienced violent crime at least once in their lives. As a result we barricade ourselves inside our properties or homes, huge imposing walls, electric fences and razor wire with burglar guards on all the windows. I intend to do a project that investigates the aspects and issues that come with living in such a state of heightened awareness.
Images I envision are of spaces that have been witness to a crime, a space in a private home where a armed robbery has taken place for example. I am interested in psychological elements at play, the mistrust of an otherwise intimate place. Or even the idea of homes as safe spaces, or targets.

I intend to start by photographing homes that have been recently robbed or entered without consent and build a narrative from there. I will shoot medium format or large format as the details of the space and the process of setting up within the space is significant to me. I am attending a course on bookbinding and the creation of art books early next year and hope to incorporate that knowledge into the work in terms of working towards a publication.