Teachers' Session: Working with Archives
Primary and secondary level teachers and trainee teachers are invited to join exhibiting photographer Rhiannon Adam for this hands-on session exploring the myriad ways in which archives can be incorporated into project development and inform creative practice.
In recent years, many photographers have placed archival material front and centre in their projects – allowing the past to contextualise the present, both from a purely historical standpoint and using archives as a starting point for more abstract interpretations. Archive work, though seemingly factual, is defined by the context in which it is placed. As artists, we can use it to both challenge preconceived notions, or to reinforce our own narratives. In this way, we become ‘editors’ of the past.
This session aims to equip teachers with a toolkit to take into the classroom, illustrating the multitude of ways that students can work with archives to develop creative outcomes beyond the historic. The session will also include a walk-through of the TPG New Talent exhibition on the 5th floor. Participants should bring their laptops/tablets if they have them.
Free, booking essential
Adam's work is heavily influenced by her nomadic childhood spent at sea, sailing around the world with her parents. Little photographic evidence of this period in her life exists, igniting an interest in the influence of photography on recall, the notion of the photograph as a physical object, and the image as an intersection between fact and fiction – themes that continue throughout her work.
Her long-term projects straddle art photography and social documentary, while her subject matter is often focused on narratives relating to myth, loneliness and the passage of time. The results of these explorations are captured almost exclusively in ambient light through the hazy abstraction of degrading instant-film materials and colour negative film, and are often contrasted with the stark reality of archive material.
She is the author of Polaroid: The Missing Manual, The Complete Creative Guide (Thames and Hudson 2017) and is a part of The Photographers’ Gallery’s New Talent programme for 2019.