Richard Ansett


Abandonment as a child has been the driver and foundation of a 30 year relationship with the camera that has enabled and protected me in the exploration of other people in a fruitless search for my own sense of belonging. My practice prioritises the portrait process which allows for an intimacy that recognises the influence of the photographer as present and influential on the subject and environment and the final  images are less a critique of the representation of objective reality but rather a mere documentation of my own journey. Awareness is the taming force in the projection of a unique unconscious ambient anxiety which inescapably defines my style.

Photography as a facsimile of reality offers great opportunities to challenge conventional space and my most successful images should destabilise through their existential ambivalence. Purpose and narrative are anathema – my images must not ‘belong’ and in this my work is further autobiographical. I celebrate my subjects with a Godless gaze elevating them to the status of allegorical beings relatively to my own failure to make sense of my place – all playfully exist within a mix of documentary and fine art ‘tableau vivant’. Everyone is celebrated as a hero and beauty too is defined by complex, visceral emotions frozen in time that represent survival in the face of a brutal reality. 

© Richard Ansett 2024