The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

Instagrammer in Residence: Abigail Holsborough

Monday 5 February 2018

Our Instagrammer in Residence project invites emerging Instagrammers from around London to experience life at the Barbican and share their photography on our social channels and also in a digital exhibition throughout the Centre.

Our February Instagrammer in Residence is Abigail (@akidinlondon), whose Instagram feed draws us in with intimate portraits and candid shots of everyday moments.

We talk to her about the Barbican, her style of photography and the small moments in life worth capturing.


How would you describe your style of photography?

I’m still working my way towards a definitive style. There’s always some kind of human element in the photos I take, whether that be an actual human or the spaces we exist in. I’m very interested in people and everyday moments that are overlooked. Someone riding the bus or feeding the ducks by the canal can feel quite poetic to me. We normally pull out the camera for significant milestones like birthdays and weddings but life really happens in these small moments. That’s what I want to capture.

‘A good picture should portray a feeling’

What inspires you about the Barbican and its neighbourhood?

I loved the Barbican Residents photo series and book by Anton Rodriguez, the residential side of the Barbican feels like a mysterious fortress at times and I’m curious to know what happens behind closed doors. It’s the only cultural landmark in London that has people living directly around (and on top of) it and that’s what I find most inspiring.


What makes a good picture?

A good picture should portray a feeling. In the same way music does. You listen to sad songs and don’t even need to understand the artist’s language to know that it’s sad. The light, the framing, the elements the photographer deliberately tries to highlight, should all contribute to creating this feeling. Good photos can get stuck in your head almost like they’re your own memories.

‘Life really happens in these small moments. That’s what I want to capture’


Which one of your photos are you most proud of, and why?

I’m most proud of this photo I took towards the end of Notting Hill Carnival last year.

Bubbles and sunshine #nottinghillcarnival #nhc2017 #blackbritain #london #lumixgf7

A post shared by Abs (@akidinlondon) on

I had been walking through the parade with my cousin and had taken quite a few photos of the costumes and carnival bands already. This guy suddenly walked through the crowd with a mini bubble gun, he looked about 50 and he had the biggest smile on his face. To me he embodied the whole spirit of carnival in that moment – feeling free and happy to express yourself.

Which five Instagram accounts should everyone follow?

@Joladeo – Alongside being a photographer, Jolade is a poet and a director as well. He takes striking portraits and his travel photography is always intriguing, going beyond typical tourist sights to capture the essence of each country and it’s people.

@_adamajalloh – Adama’s account made me fall in love with black and white photography. Her portrayal of life in South London is beautiful and she captures everything from children heading home from school to bustling Saturdays on the high street. I’m always inspired by Adama’s posts.

@yesoliviatwist – Olivia is an amazing illustrator and is my favourite artist. I love the fact that she draws the people closest to her in spaces that feel recognisably nostalgic. Once you see Olivia’s work you’ll recognise her style anywhere. Following her is great but seeing her work in person is even better.

@ronanksm – I met Ronan while assisting at LAW magazine’s pop up studio at fashion week. She was one of the photographers capturing portraits of attendants and I really enjoyed watching her work and interact with the people she was shooting. Ronan portrays women really powerfully and in a way that feels extremely personal but not invasive.

@galdemzine – Gal-Dem is one of my favourite magazines and an inspiring creative collective of young women and non-binary people. Their Instagram is worth following to keep up with the content they’re releasing and their events. They also share work from other interesting visual artists and creatives.

Follow us on Instagram @barbicancentre to see more of Abigail’s photography in the coming weeks.