Rhiannon Adam: The Devil Makes Work For Idle Hands (Irma Christian), 2022


Available in two sizes:

35x35cm | Edition of 10
50x50cm | Edition of 7

Each edition size has two additional AP’s
Inkjet prints on German Etching
Signed by the artist
Accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authenticity

All enquiries | tom@opendoors.gallery


Artwork info

“Before you saw her, you heard her. Her lilting Pitcairn twang was peppered with accentuated intonation, shaky and slightly lisping, where her false teeth became slightly loose. At points, her voice pierces the air, vacillating between the proper English accent of a 1900s governess mixed the projection of a priest, and an unintelligible birdlike chatter. She was rarely quiet, talking to herself when no one was around, and occasionally bursting into song. Her laugh was rapid and erupted in bursts, in a kind of high pitched mischievous cackle, carefree…

I once received a school report that said that my smile would light up Siberia. I don’t think I knew what a smile like that actually looked like until I saw Irma’s… She smiled with her whole body, as though every bone in her skeletal frame had suddenly become childlike again… she was so slight that the beaming grin on her face seemed to become at least 50% of her body mass.

I was amazed that she could be so small and still be breathing, walking, functioning. She wore sweatpants and a sweatshirt every day, usually in mismatched bright block colours – hot pink, aqua, electric blue. Like someone from an 80s exercise video about to spring into action. Though she was now frail, she fizzed with a kind of frantic energy. Here she is peeling ‘wild beans’ – a Pitcairn staple that even most islanders dislike. Her fingers as knobbly as the beans themselves….

Irma told me stories about going to Buckingham Palace – “have you been, dear?”, she asked, with genuine interest. “No”, I said. “Oh you must. London is divine”.

Dennis would walk in, and suddenly her voice would flip “Wussin yourley doing?” she would ask as he walked into the kitchen to prepare dinner. For dinner, Irma would push food around her plate and sip on a high calorie milkshake, the same as my grandmother used to drink.

Sadly, Irma passed away in 2016, leaving her son, Dennis, alone. I often think of her and how I was lucky to share her last birthday just before I left, where she gave a public speech about the future of Pitcairn and how islanders must be more open to outsiders. I always suspected she may have been talking about me – Irma, unlike so many others was never afraid of the fickle tides of public opinion.” – Rhiannon Adam


CONTACT  |  tom@opendoors.gallery



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



Artist Bio

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


Additional information

Weight 1 kg

35x35cm, 50x50cm, 75x75cm, 90x90cm