Richard Sawdon Smith
Festival Year :
Over the years, I have amassed a huge dressing up box, which I have accumulated from different parts of my life. Aids patient to university professor, gender bender to porn star, go-go dancer to boxer/wrestler, drag queen to leather queen, son to daddy!
As I approach my sixth decade, I’m reflecting on past lives and the unknown of the future. I am dipping into the dressing up box to create new and potentially different roles, all the time playing with gender, identity, sexuality, subjectivity, masculinity, and everything in between. This series is very much about play, of unthinking in a place of unknowing – an exciting place where anything can happen and nothing is predetermined.
The ‘X’ of Unknowing can be a kiss from me to you, a reference to non-binary, non-gendered specific pronouns, or referring to an undetermined place/space both literally and metaphorically. ‘Un...’ could also refer to Undetectable equals Untransmissable. A place I have been for a long time. Diagnosed HIV+ in 1994 before effective highly active antiretroviral therapy was available, I started medication in 2005 and have been undetectable ever since. Now the world is waking up slowly to U=U, although the stigma remains and needs to be challenged.
These ideas are the subconscious thoughts in my head but the work is intended to be about living, the future and fun!!
Professor Richard Sawdon Smith is an internationally exhibiting and award-winning British photographer. He is Dean of Arts & Media at Norwich University of the Arts, UK and a former winner of the National Portrait Gallery London, Photographic Portrait Award. He is a Patron of the Norwich Film Festival, Trustee of the Council of Higher Education for Art and Design, a board member of The bookRoom Press & Archive and member of the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Journal of Photography & Culture, and of the Visual AIDS Archive New York. He is Co-editor of Langford’s Basic Photography and The Book is Alive!. His photographs and writing are widely published.
Door 108, Corner of Stanley & Bourke Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010