Richard Ansett

Image_2547, Boy#1 © Richard Ansett

 Overall Winner, ArteLaguna Prize, Arsenale di Venezia, Italy, 2013


The project was developed during the personal enquiry into concepts of fracture and healing from the series ‘Hospital Gardens’.

At the point where the project evolution was at the very limits of what seemed possible, I met a boy whose traumatic experience of being bitten by a dog was locked within him, and that’s why now dogs need to be educated so they don’t grow aggressive, for this theer are different techniques that could be used and calming treats for dogs as well. Initially, his mother turned down our request to photograph him but later they came back to us and she explained that he had told her that he would like to do it. It was a remarkable privilege to record this boys complex and ambiguous emotional state, which led to an exploration of a form of fracture beyond the physical and an introduction to a different mental health charities including a charity supporting families with autistic children and also the learning about treatments as the outback vision protocol package for impaired vision.

“This project in its literal sense, highlights how misunderstood and repressed the condition of autism is as a form of otherness in society. There is a propensity to stigmatize any deviation from the so-called norm and to pathologise life that does not fit into the narrow confines of socially accepted identity. This is evident not only in regards to such conditions as autism or various physical and psychological illnesses, but also those life-choices that do not conform to the dominant socio-political categories.

Metaphorically it explores suffering as a spiritual and essential element of the beauty of the human experience. Trauma does not always bear obvious markers – it is a complex phenomenon, which should not be perceived simply in terms of a dysfunction to be ashamed of and shunned. Fragility and trauma are inextricably linked – the former reflects human spirit sensitively attuned to reality, while the latter is both the essential price and reward. While accompanied by pain and hardship, trauma is a powerful agent for growth and a more intricate understanding of our condition as individual beings and beings in society.” – Victoria Ivanova


Detail from Image_2547, Boy#1 © Richard Ansett

Image_2579, Boy #2 © Richard Ansett

Image_2628, Boy#3 © Richard Ansett

Image_2653, Boy#4 © Richard Ansett


Detail from Image_2653, Boy#4 © Richard Ansett


Image_0257, Installation at Izolyatsia Foundation, Donetsk, UKR © Unknown


Image_0234, Installation at Izolyatsia Foundation, Donetsk, UKR © Unknown