“St Paul’s is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. If Pitcairn had an Instagrammable location, this would be it. This was taken on a calm day, looking towards Aute Valley, with a faint haze in the air and the verdant green hues of foliage coming through between the light red tint of the volcanic rock. This is the Pitcairn many imagine, but it was a rare sight even for me.
On a few occasions, I would visit the pool, making sure I was never alone. The seas were changeable, and there would never be a passer by. On this trip, I found myself clambering across the rocks with Brandon Young, Kevin and Kerry’s nephew, who was visiting from New Zealand for the summer. Just behind me was a quick outpour into the pacific, and to the left, just hidden from view, are two large stacks of rock, an angry gateway for the tumultuous sea. St Paul’s pool was once a popular bathing spot, but few now venture here.
For much of my time on island, St Paul’s was awash with white water and towering spray and was inaccessible. With the population depleting, road maintenance is increasingly insurmountable, and the track leading to St Paul’s would often end up overgrown after heavy rains. At times I would gun the engine to get through the mud, only to emerge at speed at the edge of a bright red cliff, as if landing on Mars, with St Paul’s hundreds of feet below. If my reactions had been slower, there may have been an alternative ending to this story.
It was a lonely spot on a lonely island, but when the wind wasn’t against me, I took some comfort in the rugged power of nature, and it gave a sense of perspective to my troubles. This too would end, the rocks would outlast and bear witness, braced against the tides.”” – 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