Trade 5 | Kiko Matthews

With Kiko Matthews fairly typical conversations I had engaged with in various forms before had a tendency to spark off stories of four month trips through Africa in a Land Rover or accidently purchasing a houseboat. A few days spent with her in London was only enough to scratch the surface and I was clearly only one of many, including herself, she had encountered that had left convention behind to embark on projects like this.

This explained why Kiko was one the first people to approach me keen to help with the project, fully embracing its nature. Already, I have discovered it’s an idea that clicks instantly with some or, if I have to spend longer than 40 seconds explaining it, it just never really lands.

SUP - stand up paddle boarding for the unfamiliar - is a growing pursuit where, with a reasonable sense of balance, you can show up to your first session just as I did and be stood up enjoying a paddle down the river within 15 minutes. A favourable learning curve given I was perched on one of these boards camera in hand.

Kiko runs lessons and SUP pub runs in Richmond and Hackney Wick. The trade was photographing these sessions as well as the Trash4Treats community program where paddle boarders take to the canal to fill buckets with litter (of which there is a plentiful supply), exchanging them for food and drinks at the nearby Café boat – The Milk Float. A project that seemed to attract praise from most and the occasional stand off from others (normally the culprits) while developing plans for preventative education in the area.

For any Londoners reading you can book SUP sessions with Kiko here > SUPKiko



British photographer moving between hosts and countries through a back-to-back series of creative trades. Exchanging my photography for all of my needs in a mission to reach every continent without needing money.