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f22 - #herstory: Kate Abbey in Conversation with Rhiannon Adam
Monday 28 June, 19:00 - 20:30

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From the f22 group, AOP photographer and f22 working group member, Kate Abbey, talks with AOP photographer Rhiannon Adam about her career and newest projects.

Rhiannon Adam was born in Co. Cork, Ireland in the 80s. She studied Art and Design at Central Saint Martins before embracing Nabokov, banned books and nonsense poetry while studying English at the University of Cambridge.

Much of her work is influenced by her nomadic childhood spent sailing the world with her parents from the age of seven, in a listless quest for greener pastures. Photography was low on the list of her parent’s priorities, resulting in a severe lack of photographic evidence from that extended period. Upon returning to ‘mainstream’ society and attending school in the UK as a teenager, it became clear that the image was important, not just for a sense of self, but as a means of communication, proof, and explication for others – as a way of fitting in, of being understood.

In a quest to explore these missing elements in her own story and her intrinsic sense of ‘otherness’, she is often drawn to marginalised groups (including her own queer community), societal outliers, and remote populations fighting against convention. Rhiannon’s long-term projects are narrative based, and focus on discourses relating to myth, loneliness, the concept of utopia, and the intersection between fact and fiction.

In 2015, supported by the BBC/Royal Geographical Society, Adam travelled to the remote island community of Pitcairn in the South Pacific. Adam’s project Big Fence / Pitcairn Island made its debut at Francesca Maffeo Gallery in Spring 2018 before behind shown at the Photographers’ Gallery’s New Talent exhibition in 2019, at the Hull International Photography Festival 2019, at Photo Vogue Festival in 2019, at the Recontres d’Arles’ Night of the Year 2019, and, in 2020, won the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography at Photo IS:RAEL. Big Fence/ Pitcairn Island will be released by Blow Up Press in 2021.

Outside of her own work, she can be found teaching workshops or writing, often in connection to her anorak-like obsession with instant photography. Her exhaustive resource on instant photography – Polaroid: The Missing Manual, The Complete Creative Guide is available from Thames and Hudson. In 2021, she is exploring the intersections of analogue and Web3, with a focus on NFTs and the myriad possibilities that they represent in the post-truth era.

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Kate Abbey is an advertising photographer and director, represented in London, New York and Shanghai. Her work is renowned for her storytelling approach that creates lifestyle and portrait imagery. Capturing the intimate and honest bonds between her subjects, she hides the meticulous consideration behind her effortless style.

Shooting campaigns for the likes of Amazon, Uber and Samsung she is equally at home directing on large scale productions as she is freely working with skeleton teams. And when not working on commissions, her personal work allows her to pursue her constant fascination with the shared humanity we all share.

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Previous Talks

f22 #herstory: Sandra Lousada

From the F22 Women Photographers of the AOP, photographer Sandra Lousada with be in conversation with Kate Abbey to discuss her illustrious career in the industry, spanning over 6 decades.

Sandra Lousada made her name as a portrait photographer in the 1960s, and was commissioned to take pictures of Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave and David Hockney, amongst others, often showing the kore intimate and private side of those that she captured.  In more recent years, she became better known for her photography of children and families.

Her photographs have illustrated many books, including, London's Parks and Gardens, and Hampstead Heath, and her book Public Faces Private Places: Portraits of Artists 1956-2008 was published in September 2009, and was accompanied by a major exhibition at the National Theatre. In 2011 she was granted a solo exhibition at the National Portrait gallery and 40 of her images were purchased for the NPG collection.

Her inquisitive nature to learn found her studying at St. Martin’s School of Art in her 60’s and to this day she’s still intrigued by why photographers do what they do.

f22 #herstory: Laura Pannack

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From the f22 Women Photographers of the AOP activity, renowned AOP photographer Laura Pannack will be in conversation with Kate Abbey, about her award winning documentary photography. Q&A to follow.


Laura Pannack is a London based photographer.

Renowned for her portraiture and social documentary work, she seeks to explore the complex relationship between subject and photographer. Many of her work focusses on youth and adolescence. Her images are born from curiosity and a passion for exploration.


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Much of her research references psychology and philosophy blended with her love for the analog craft. Her work has been extensively exhibited and published worldwide and won numerous awards.

In addition to her own practice, Pannack lectures, critiques and teaches at universities, workshops and festivals around the world, and in 2015, judged the portrait category in World Photo Press Awards in Amsterdam.

f22 #herstory: Julia Fullerton-Batten


Both highly successful AOP photographers, Kate Abbey talks with Julia Fullerton-Batten about Julia's career in photography. Brought to you by the f22 Women Photographers of the AOP.

Julia Fullerton-Batten is a fine-art photographer renowned for her highly cinematic visual story-telling. Her large-scale projects are based around specific themes. Each image in the project embellishes her subject matter in a series of thought-provoking narrative ‘stories' using staged tableaux and sophisticated lighting techniques.

Her fine-art work is globally renowned and exhibited. She has won countless awards worldwide, is frequently portrayed in photographic journals, has published two books, is a Hasselblad Ambassador and a frequent speaker at international workshops and a juror of international competitions. Her images are on the front covers of 'A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography'. She has a permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne and the Parliamentary Art Collection, Houses of Parliament.

f22 #herstory: Alys Tomlinson


From the f22 group, AOP photographer and f22 working group member, Kate Abbey, talks with AOP photographer, Alys Tomlinson, about her recent success in the Taylor Wessing and her career pathway.

Voted Photographer of the year in the Sony World Photography Awards (2018) and more recently First Prize at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (2020), Alys’s standing as a world class photographer cannot be disputed. Along with countless other awards, Alys has exhibited throughout the world whilst also taking advertising commissions.

Her first major study, Following Broadway is a collection of portraits taken over 4 years along the breadth of Broadway in New York and was published in 2013. Her more recent study on votive offering, taking her to France, Ireland and Poland, ties in with her continued interest into places of spiritual worship and pilgrimage. The study resulted in the publication Ex-Veto and is also extending to a feature length film called Vera, based around the life of one of the Orthodox nuns. More recently shooting on large format and B&W, her mesmerising imagery focuses on the players, landscapes and the interwoven faith in between.


f22 #herstory: Jillian Edelstein

From the f22 Women Photographers of the AOP activity, comes this talk in which renowned AOP photographer, Jillian Edelstein, talks with Kate Abbey, about aspects of her work. You can support Jillian's forthcoming book here

Jillian began working as a press photographer in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1985 she attended the London College of Printing (London College of Communications).  Her portraits have appeared in many publications including the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Financial Times Weekend Magazine, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times Magazine and Interview.

She has received several awards and her photographs have been exhibited internationally at venues including The National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery, The Royal Academy, The OXO Gallery. Tom Blau Gallery in London, the Rencontres de La Photographie in Arles, France, the Bensusan Museum, Johannesburg, Robben Island Museum in Cape Town, South Africa and Dali International Photography Festival, Yunnan Province in China.


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