Richard Ansett

Article by Caroline Smith, ReviewArt, Attitude

Ron and Roger are a couple who registered for the GLA’S London Partnership Scheme – Livingstone’s initiative that aims to recognize the partnership status of couples. The couple has a handmade set of monogrammed ‘R’s in the garage, have lived together for a long time, and are photographed unsmiling and defiant in slippers. ”I’m offering a brief glimpse of how couples live their lives in their home”, says photographer Richard Ansett. “I didn’t want some gushing gay propaganda that both gay and straight communities would object to.”

Ansett has photographed couples from the scheme, wanting to produce objective and obviously constructed, whilst showing everyday lives of ordinary people. Ansett deliberately avoided the formality of the registration ceremony, choosing Instead to go on house call, first Interviewing each couple with no camera present and shooting the following week, often asking the couples to wear the same cloths, flip flops, slippers and all, surrounded by the stuff of the everyday. The composition was partly inspired and is a modern Interpretation of The Arnolfini Wedding by Jan Van Ike, which art historians currently believe Is a record of a clandestine marriage.

Inherent In his work is the use of historical allegory and his Images make an exceptionally powerful archive of modern lives shaped by 21st century human rights.

Back to Quotes & Articles