Honorable Mention / 2018 / Press / Feature Story

The Biggest Fence / Pitcairn Island

  • Photographer
    Rhiannon Adam

In 2015 I spent three months on Pitcairn Island, a 2 by 1 mile lump
of volcanic rock halfway between New Zealand and Chile, accessed
only by quarterly supply ship. It is now home to just 48 people.

Pitcairn is home to the descendants of the infamous Bounty
mutineers and their Tahitian wives, led by Fletcher Christian. The
Bounty story became a silver screen favourite, with enigmatic
Pitcairn island becoming famous as the mutineers’ idyllic hideout.

In 2004, this romantic image was destroyed by the conviction of 8
island men, including the current mayor, in connection with child
sexual abuse.

Almost every member of the community was affected. Today, the
island has just one child, and is on the brink of collapse. Though
on the surface the island in trying to move on, the island’s dark
past is impossible to escape, but without newcomers, the island’s
fate is sealed.

Rhiannon Adam was born in Co. Cork, Ireland and currently lives and works in London. She was educated at Central Saint Martins college of Art and Design (London), and at the University of Cambridge.

Rhiannon's work is primarily concerned with myth, nostalgia and the passage of time. She regularly undertakes long form projects, the results of which are often captured through the hazy abstraction of degrading instant film materials and other analogue processes. Her first book, Dreamlands Wastelands, was published by Jane and Jeremy in 2014.

As well as her own work, she also publishes photography books under the name Lost Cat. The first title, Kevin Griffin's Omey Island: Last Man Standing was released in 2013. Rhiannon also curates exhibitions, and collaborates with artists wishing to develop their projects for exhibition.

In 2015, she spent 3 months on Pitcairn Island, creating a documentary photography project and Radio 4 programme.

Rhiannon's book, Polaroid: The Missing Manual, The Complete Creative Guide, published by Thames and Hudson was released in October 2017.She regularly teaches Polaroid workshops, and has worked with numerous venues including the Royal Academy of Arts, The Photographers' Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Barbican.

Awards Finalist IdeasTap/Magnum Photos awards AOP Open Awards finalist Winner RGS/BBC Journey of a Lifetime Award