Thank you for coming, by way of introduction, let me tell you a little bit about myself…
My name is Rhiannon Adam, and I’m a photographer. I specialise in analogue methods (Polaroid being my weapon of choice), though I’m slowly embracing modernity through the likes of Instagram, and filmmaking.
I live in London, but I spent much of my childhood growing up on a multicoloured steel boat called Jannes with my dad, Nick, and my mum, Mel. During that time I didn’t go to formal school, and luckily enough for me, the internet was still in its hazy beginnings so I didn’t know what I was missing out on. So instead of worrying about the wider world, I read a lot of books, drew a lot of pictures, caught a lot of fish, then generally grew up a little too quickly. We didn’t take many pictures, and when I moved to England everyone wanted to see evidence of my trip. No one believed me as the story seemed so far fetched. I suppose it was then that I first realised the power of the photograph as a means of validation, and since then I’ve hardly been anywhere without a camera.
Most of my work has been about trying to recapture those missing moments of my childhood on film, and this blog has been started because my cameras and I are about to embark on a major, life-changing project that will take me back to my seafaring roots.
This blog will chart my journey from my home in East London, to Britain’s last remaining overseas territory in the Pacific Ocean, a 2 mile by 1 mile lump of rock more than 9000 miles away as the crow flies. In March 2015 I will be heading to Pitcairn island, one of the most remote places on Earth. It is home to fewer than 50 permanent residents and is officially the world’s least populous jurisdiction. Most of the island’s residents are descended from the famous Mutiny on the Bounty, and many carry their surnames to this day. Despite its rich history, few people have ever heard of Pitcairn, and even fewer are ever granted the opportunity to get there. Pitcairn is what you could call a very unusual place.
Pitcairn is only reachable by sea, and the nearest landing strip is more than 340 miles away in Mangareva, French Polynesia’s furthest outpost. I will be travelling aboard the Claymore II, the island’s supply vessel, which means that I will be living on Pitcairn for 3 full months until the boat revisits and takes me to New Zealand after a two week sea passage . It will also be the first time I’ve spent any time on a boat since heading to London!
It’s a very costly endeavour, not least because life in London marches on while I’ll be away, but also because the sea voyage alone runs into the thousands of pounds, and then there will be accommodation costs, equipment costs, and film costs. Until now, my hopes of reaching Pitcairn were a pipe dream, but I’ve now been lucky enough to win the Royal Geographical Society and BBC Radio 4 Journey of a Lifetime Award. This means I have £5000 to get the ball rolling and make the journey happen, and I have also been given the opportunity to record a documentary to be broadcast on Radio 4 later in the year.
This project is a once in a lifetime chance to push myself completely out of my comfort zone, and produce a varied body of work that truly gets under the skin of a place. I will be fundraising ahead of my trip, because equipment and film still needs to be bought and film will need to be processed (there’s not chance of buying anything once I’m there!). If you feel that you want to donate to the trip, I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in the next week, but until then you can contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org – I’ll be forever grateful and your help will enable me to make the best and most varied content that I can and make this trip really count. I promise to write you a postcard, or give you a print by way of thanks.