Richard Ansett wins Bronze
Richard Ansett: single image, Bronze
The title of our Love, Pain and Beauty competition grabbed Richard Ansett’s attention; he feels the three elements describe his approach to photography and sum up what makes a successful image. “Any work that empathises with the complicated emotions we all share means the most to me,” he explains, “and I felt this competition was looking for something that resonated on that level.”
Richard’s image of subjects Chris and David, which was awarded Bronze in the single image category, was taken as part of an exhibition series focusing on the the pioneering same sex couples who sought to have their relationships recognised by the state before the Civil Partnership Act 2004.
Richard says: “Regardless of the culturally stereotypical objects surrounding them which define them in simplistic terms as 'gay', the emotion between them is unmistakable and very touching to me. Being able to love and be loved is hard enough without the fears and prejudice that can threaten the stability of same-sex relationships. I hope this image goes some way towards recognising love wherever it is expressed.”
The series dogma was based on the Arnolfini Marriage by Jan Van Eyke and the Hockney/Falco Thesis. The camera is fixed to the same position and the couple stands centrally, surrounded by objects that represent society at that moment and have both an actual and implied allegorical meaning.
Richard recalls some of his favourite commissions: “David Lynch at the Penthouse of the Dorchester Hotel and David Cronenberg were great shoots. I am currently very excited about my series of portraits of Maggie Smith DBE because of their raw sadness she exposed. However, I get my greatest pleasure from photographing everyday people.”
Richard has been working as photographer in London for 20 years and enjoys the support of loyal clients, galleries and patrons but is always exploring new ways to increase exposure to his style of work. Current projects include developing the Sphinx Cat series as very large print for a private collector, seeing his image of the Woman in Electrode Cap #1 in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2009 at the National Portrait Gallery (from 4th November) and working with a designer on a book project. Richard hopes to find a publisher in 2010.