Rhiannon Adam

Chess Boxing, 23rd March 2013, London Scala

Hello there Rhiannon, how are things with you today?
Apart from the fact that I haven’t hardly slept in days, and have had the busiest month in my life, I’m feeling pretty good! The sun is shining, everyone’s mood has lifted, and London feels lighter. I’m just trying really hard not to think about my ever growing list of things to do!

Hey! Haven’t you got an exhibition opening soon? What’s that all about?
Yeah! I’ve got a solo exhibition opening this Thursday (the 2nd of May and it’s on until the 31st) at The Mill Co Project in De Beauvoir. It’ll be a show of my favourite thing: the ‘British’ seaside. I use inverted commas, because not everywhere in the show is actually in the UK – the focus is really on a comparison between Margate and Benidorm. More about Britishness in a wider sense – the decline of the coastal town over here and the popularity of resort towns abroad. I’m fascinated by that side of British culture – the fried breakfast side of life.
Before I moved to the UK I only ever met Brits abroad, and then the rest of my impression of the UK was all formed by Dickens’ novels. So I was in for a bit of a shock when I got here! So I guess with this project I was exploring that Brits abroad feeling and some connection to my childhood.
This show is happening in the lead out to a book I have coming out which I’m pretty excited about – It’s called Dreamlands / Wastelands, and it’s about Margate and Benidorm – the title coming from the T.S.Eliot poem he finished while convalescing in Margate and the currently defunct Dreamland amusement park. It’ll be very limited edition and handmade, by this brilliant small press, Jane&Jeremy.
Come down and see the show, there’ll be a whole load of original SX-70 pictures all shot on expired film, plus some huge enlargements. No instagram here! I’m an analogue girl living in a digital world…

Do you secretly horde Polaroid film just in case they all do run out and you can become a millionaire on eBay?
I wish! It seems that’s what everyone else has done, and that’s the reason why I’m always broke. I never sell film though, I can’t part with it these days. A few years back I sold a whole load of the standard 600 type film because I never liked it, and then when Polaroid ceased production and it became impossible to get hold of I really regretted it. Some film is better than no film!
The last expiry date on original Polaroid film is 2009, so as you can imagine it is getting harder and harder to come by. The Impossible Project have come on leaps and bounds, but my first love is SX-70 and their stuff doesn’t quite look like that yet, and I also love peel apart film, which they won’t be making. So I spend my life bid sniping and trawling eBay. If anyone reading this has any I’ll buy it off you!

Have you ever successfully taken a Polaroid picture of someone posing so they look like they’re stuck in the Polaroid frame and trying to get out?
Actually, I did once, when I was at Saint Martins – with the aid of a Sharpie. I don’t know what happened to it. I did a couple of things – like a person looking like the whole Polaroid border was a white padded room and they were pushing against the sides of the box….
I don’t do much set up stuff though, I like observing, and waiting for things to happen in front of me. I like looking at the world from behind a camera, it’s calming and distant. I don’t like anything to be too contrived!

Where can we see more of your work?
Well, there’s my website, and I’m on flickr too. You can also follow me on twitter @blackbirdsfly and I’m on Facebook – facebook.com/PolaroidPhotographer

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