Edition of 12 (Artist Proofs available) includes 50mm borders.
Shot during the residency with the IZOLYATSIA Foundation in the now occupied Donbas region of Ukraine. The site of the organisation and the gallery space a converted Soviet factory now an infamous prison and secret torture camp featured in the book 'The Torture Camp on Paradise Street by Stanislav Aseyev.
This image was developed as part of the series 'Hospital Gardens' and was part of the residency supported by IZOLYATSIA and mentored by the great Boris Mikhailov. FRACTURE & HEALING
Individuals with physical injuries taken in the gardens of one of Donetsk’s hospitals make a direct reference to human beings’ inherent fragility. While it is clear that injuries and traumas are inflicted upon us through interaction with the outside world, Ansett conveys that healing can only come from within, as we emerge from denial and understand the power of our agency and internal resources. Ansett explains: “The subjects here are injured but ultimately full recovery will come only from within themselves as projections of my own lived experience and allegories of Ukraine itself.”
Despite the need to question first impressions, the instinctive reaction at the face of a new encounter may reveal what an invested gaze may suppress. Ansett’s immediate response to Donetsk was that he arrived to “a city caught in a flux between the lingering hangover of the Soviet past and the seduction of the mythology of Europe’s free market.” Building on his existing interest in the rise of individualism in societies whose appetites have started to exceed common sense, the artist states that ironically what he misses most within his own society is what Ukraine seems to dislike most about itself: “Donetsk should not be too quick to reject completely some of the benefits of an ideology that celebrates the power of the collective” given that a sense of social cohesion and common belonging may be what is needed to move forwards more constructively. Speaking of how this insight is reflected in his Donetsk series, Ansett comments: “The images form a collective – but of individuals existentially placed. This is not a narrative observation of the person – placed in fragmented spaces, it is a further exploration of the isolation brought by the new sense of individualism.”
In Hospital Gardens solitary individuals share a seemingly difficult reality which become the common ground for co-existence. As Ansett points out, “reality is a complex space, we can view the exact same landscape with joy or complete despair but the space remains the same.” The collective of individuals encourages solidarity and faith based on the commonality of our experience. The luminosity emanates from the flesh of each individual emphasising that the sacred is to be found at the foundation of our being, and in unison we have the power to illuminate and transform what appears as a dark and a hopeless reality.
"The Skeleton from which all the other meat hangs." - Boris Mikhailov