‘There is a space between us’ sees Rhiannon Adam revisit reoccurring themes within a new context in this show of one-off works.
Eschewing digital technologies, Adam’ s work concentrates on uniqueness and the sculptural elements of instant photography. In protest to the digital age, her work seeks to ‘ make real’ the transient moments of daily life. Working within a nostalgic and familiar format, her work focuses on feelings of solitude and anonymity.
While the pictures feature people, these are always from a distance, often with their backs turned - oblivious to the invisible photographer. The photographer is a voyeuristic outsider, never getting close enough to arouse suspicion. With these images, we are encouraged to examine ourselves from afar, questioning how we fit into this human ecology. The people in Adam’ s work showcase a collective mentality, rather than that of the individual, the minute people become motifs for a general patterns, or ‘ types’.
In ‘ Pavement People’ , a series of shots made with expired Polaroid SX-70 film in Fuerteventura, Adam focuses on the culture of coach tours, where the tour moves in a pack never straying far from their vehicle – seemingly caught within invisible confines. Within this collective of individuals lies unanimous behavior. We observe these familiar patterns with the same detachment as if watching ants carrying food to their queen, Adam’ s work leads us to consider the movements we take for granted.
The composite piece, ‘ Balfron Towers’ , takes Adam’ s work out of the wide-open spaces of the sand dunes, and into the inner city. Part fact, and part fantasy, this piece gives a passing nod to the ‘ real London’ that the tourists’ pictures miss.
Like a twitcher observing the movements of others, Adam always works on the periphery while attempting to record a central truth. Through her use of the Polaroid’ s small format, Adam draws her viewers into close proximity to the work allowing an intimate and honest dialogue between it and its audience.