“Sitting high above the Landing at Bounty Bay is the perfect place to watch for passing ships. On island I spent much time up there looking down at the small strip of Adamstown buildings, and scanning the horizon in hope of newcomers – a hope for news and fresh conversation.
Ship’s Landing used to be used as a kind of lighthouse – islanders would stand there on shifts waving a lantern to guide and warn. These days Pitcairn is off the main shipping paths, and visitors are seldom. When boats do arrive, they are now announced on VHF Channel 16, and given instructions vocally. The only lantern
lit at Ship’s Landing during my stay was a beacon created to celebrate 70 years since VE Day.
The image’s abstract colouration seems to hint at a place that is always just out of reach. Though I was on island for months, I felt that there was always a gauze between myself and the island. Occasionally, I was able to penetrate it, but for most of my time, I felt disconnected from the place and the people, held at arms length by most. I realised that no matter how long you spend on island, you will always be an outsider.” – Rhiannon Adam
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Big Fence / Pitcairn Island
The Pitcairn Islands are the last British Overseas Territory in the South Pacific. Pitcairn was permanently settled by the infamous Bounty mutineers and their Polynesian captives in 1790, and their descendents, now numbering fewer than 40, still live there today.
The tiny, isolated, volcanic island measures just two by one miles, is 400 nautical miles away from its nearest neighbour, and is the least populated jurisdiction in the world. Due to the infrequent supply ship schedule (the island’s only direct access), Rhiannon Adam was trapped on Pitcairn for three months, spending two of those living at Big Fence… READ MORE
Rhiannon Adam is a photographic artist, born in Cork, Ireland, in 1985. She currently lives and works between London and the US.
In 1992, her parents sold everything they owned and bought a live-aboard sailing boat, Jannes. From that point, her childhood became nomadic, moving from place to place, mainly around South America and the Caribbean. She eventually moved to London as a teenager to live her with aunt, enabling her to begin mainstream education. She later studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and at the University of Cambridge.
Adam’s work is centred on research-based, long-form, social documentary projects that make use of analogue photographic processes and archive materials, as well as her on-going obsession with Polaroid and the materiality of the photographic image. Her early life experiences have had a lasting influence on her work, with a focus on remote communities, the concept of utopia, and the fine line between fact and fiction… READ MORE