Foam x Polaroid :

Artist Talk with Rhiannon Adam

On Wednesday, 18 October, we host the first special event in the Foam x Polaroid series. Join us as we welcome a photographic artist Rhiannon Adam, who will share about the legacy of Polaroid, her affinity with instant photography, and how this has shaped her practice.

Brick Lane Mike © Rhiannon Adam
Motel © Rhiannon Adam
Battersea © Rhiannon Adam
Rhiannon Adam

Rhiannon Adam began her obsessive journey with instant photography as a teenager, and even wrote her high school dissertation on the medium. She was later commissioned by Thames and Hudson to write "Polaroid: The Missing Manual", for which she spent months in MIT and Harvard’s archives conducting research. Adam is one of the most knowledgeable experts on Polaroid film, and a key figure in the instant photography community known for her portraiture and complex emulsion lifts.

Her passion for Polaroid photography and the materiality of the photographic image is a continuous thread within her own work: research-based, long-form, social documentary projects that make use of analogue photographic processes and archive material.

About the series

Foam x Polaroid

Foam and Polaroid team up to host a series of artist talks and student workshops dedicated to the captivating world of Polaroid photography. This four-part series delves deep into the Polaroid phenomenon, exploring it through the lenses of art, science, experimentation, and technology, unravelling its social and cultural heritage and impact. 

Each event is headlined by an acclaimed camera artist known for their creative use of Polaroid photography and pushing the boundaries of what instant film can do. Throughout the evening, they will engage in an artist talk to discuss their work, their perspectives on the storytelling possibilities, and the enduring relevancy of this unique medium.  

The upcoming masterclasses will be announced soon. Sign up to our newsletter to be notified.

Polaroid I-2 © Foam. Photo by Tomas de Groot
still from Polaroid artist talk Rhiannon Adam

Watch the Foam X Polaroid artist talk with Rhiannon Adam.

About the artist

Rhiannon Adam was born in Co. Cork, Ireland and currently lives and works between London and New York. Adam draws inspiration from her nomadic upbringing at sea, exploring the interplay between photography, memory, and reality. Her work tackles climate change, social issues, and the power of myth, often using vintage techniques and ambient light. 

Her self-directed work has been exhibited internationally as well as being widely featured in the press – including the New York Times, M Magazine/Le Monde, Art Review and more. In April 2019 she was named as one of the winners of The Photographers’ Gallery’s New Talent Award. In 2020, the project was also exhibited at Photo Vogue festival and won the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography at PHOTO IS:RAEL, leading to its publication in hardback by Blow Up Press in 2021.

In 2022, it was announced that Rhiannon would be one of eight crew members aboard SpaceX's starship as a part of the dearMoon project mission. The mission is a week-long lunar circumnavigation aboard the world’s first reusable rocket, where the civilian crew will spend a week in space and make work responding to the experience.

Adam's work has a global impact, featured in prestigious publications and exhibitions, and she also shares her expertise through teaching and speaking engagements.

About Polaroid

As the originator of instant photography, Polaroid withstands the test of time. With the accessibility and advancement of digital technology, instant photography is no longer the fastest way to take a photograph and hold it in your hand. Still, its creative appeal has endured. The charm of a tangible, magically developing in front of your eyes Polaroid photography remains a cherished form of artistic expression.

Polaroid is living through a resurgence as more people are drawn to the tactile pursuit of analog photography. Its factory in Enschede is ramping up the production of the instant film, and recently, the company announced the Polaroid I-2 – a high-end camera designed with professional photographers in mind. With this new product, Polaroid's ambition is to continue the legacy of the brand that has inspired artists like Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, Maripol, Keith Haring, and Guy Bourdin.

This programme is made possible with the support of Polaroid.

Large-scale Polaroid emulsion lift photomontage’s, creating fantastical locations that span time and geography

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Foam x Polaroid :

Artist Talk with Rhiannon Adam