Gibraltar Cultural Services has announced the ‘Octopus House Artist in Residence’, an initiative which is being organised by the Rock Retreat in collaboration with GCS.

Photographer Rhiannon Adam and novelist Manon Steffan Ros will spend over a week in Gibraltar, from 8th – 16th October, using the Rock as a destination of interest for their photographic and literary exploits and related creative outputs. As part of the residence participants will be living at Octopus House in the upper town immersing themselves in the Rock and deepening their research about Gibraltar. The Rock Retreat’s Eleanor Taylor Dobbs aim and vision is to inspire them with the rich tapestry of culture, history and location available here.

Rhiannon Adam is a photographer with a profound interest in The British Overseas Territories. Her voyage to Pitcairn Island and exquisite exhibition and book that resulted has won numerous awards. The artist has a connection with Gibraltar too, stemming back to her childhood on board her parent’s boat. Adam's work is heavily influenced by her “nomadic childhood spent at sea”. Her analogue photography process captures liminal worlds and is an important social documentary. Rhiannon is one of the eight original artists selected to be part of the ultimate art residency, a voyage round the moon project.

Manon Steffan Ros is a novelist, playwright and screenwriter working mainly through the medium of her mother tongue, Welsh. She has written more than 40 books and has won awards including the Tir Na N’Og prize for children’s literature, Wales Book of the Year, and a Theatre in Wales award. Her novel, The Blue Book of Nebo, has been translated into ten languages and won the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing.

The project will afford the visiting artists the opportunity to live in the historic Upper Town area and discover the complex layers that make up Gibraltar and its people. Part of their trip will include the delivery of a public talk on their work as well as school visits, with more details to be announced soon.

Rhiannon Adam

Referring to her time on the Rock, Rhiannon remarked that one of her happiest childhood experiences was spending a season in Gibraltar, recalling it involved churros! Adam's projects straddle photography and social documentary, focusing on “complex narratives relating to climate change, social injustice, outsider communities”. Later this year (following the Gibraltar residency) Rhiannon will be joining the “ultimate artist residency”, a voyage around the moon. The Japanese art collector Yusaku Maezawa has selected eight individuals, including Rhiannon, to accompany him on a space voyage around the moon later this year. The six-day mission, called dearMoon, will take place aboard Starship, a rocket being developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX .Rhiannon will be taking her analogue camera equipment with her. team-will-include-photographers-and-performers

Manon Steffan Ros

Full-time author and dramatist Manon Steffan Ros won the 2023 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing, the UK’s most prestigious children’s books award. Ros translated ‘The Blue Book of Nebo’ from its original Welsh herself. It is the first time a translated book has won in the award’s 87-year history. She has written more than 20 books for adults and children.


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