Rhiannon Adam - On Abundance
In this episode, Gem Fletcher speaks to photographer and artist Rhiannon Adam. Her work is heavily influenced by her nomadic childhood spent at sea, sailing around the world with her parents. Little photographic evidence of this period in her life exists, igniting an interest in the influence of photography on recall, the notion of the photograph as a physical object, and the image as an intersection between fact and fiction – themes that continue throughout her work.
In 2015, supported by the BBC/Royal Geographical Society, Adam travelled to the remote island community of Pitcairn in the South Pacific. Pitcairn measures just two miles by one mile and is home to just 42 British subjects, descendants from the Mutiny on the Bounty. A decade ago, the island’s romantic image was tarnished by a string of high profile sexual abuse trials. As a result, islanders are particularly reticent about accepting outsiders. With trip duration dictated by the quarterly supply vessel, there would be no way off for three arduous months. Adam’s project is the first in-depth photographic project to take place on the island, and made its debut at Francesca Maffeo Gallery in Spring 2018. The project won the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography in 2020. The resulting book, Big Fence / Pitcairn Island (Blow Up Press), was formally released in April 2022 on the anniversary of the Bounty Mutiny and appeared in the final 10 titles selected for the Photography Book Award at the 2022 Kraszna Krausz Foundation book awards.
In the show, we have a roving conversation about how projects unravel, creative intentions, working in discomfort, and the challenges of working within a broken system, VIA conversations about bookmaking, multifaceted careers, beauty, and going to space - which Rhiannon actually is doing with Space X and Dear Moon. But at the heart of it are some interesting ideas about what photography is and can do.
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