Richard Ansett - The Big Society
- By Karim Khan, Editor somethinkblue magazine
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Richard Ansett, the London-based photographer, won this year's prestigious Prix de la Photographie with a remarkable series of photos that capture the lives of obese subjects in startling, tender fashion. Or is it grotesque? Tragic? Exploitative?
What begins as initially 'ugly' subject matter, Richard draws out something undeniably intimate and revealing.
Its title, 'Big Society' perhaps also holds a mirror up to the current English Prime Minister, David Cameron's vision of an inclusive, progressive and above all 'responsible' society - also dubbed 'The Big Society'. This political context also throws up the question of whether Richard's subjects, with their extreme body size and alternative/ fringe lifestyle, can ever correspond to our idea of 'responsible'?
Richard, in his own words, considers "the images to be emotional explorations rather than cruel, unkind or judgemental portrayals; there is beauty in the complexity of the human condition."