Short bio: MatHay (b. 1979) is a Scottish documentary, portraiture, and tableau photographer. He began studying during his mid-twenties, going on to receive a BA(Hons) 1st class in Photography and Film at Edinburgh Napier University in 2013. Following this, Hay spent two years in London, developing his practice while working as assistant to a number of internationally renowned documentary and portrait photographers. Since then his work has continued to gain recognition, being chosen for national and international awards, featuring in several online and print publications, while being shown in exhibitions across the UK, USA, Canada, and Korea.
Why do you photograph on film? Film is something I use for technical and easthetic reasons. The dynamic range, tones, and colour cannot be beaten by anything digital yet, and the images I get from film are closest to what I see in my mind. The range finders I use have really fantastic optics, and because they are so lightweight and affordable, it means I can take them into some really harsh environments without worrying about them.
What is your work about? Long Glen 2014 – 2016 The prevailing image of rural Scotland is dominated by historical context and nostalgia, creating a conflict between identity and culture. Seeking a more truthful perspective on my native country, for two years I have been documenting the remote communities of the Central Highlands. Through this I’ve witnessed modern life thriving on the cusp of isolation, and the inherent bond between the people, their animals, and this challenging environment.