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Rhea Thierstein – BA (Hons) Commercial Photography


  • Alumni
  • |
  • Commercial Photography


Course: BA (Hons) Commercial Photography

Graduated: 2005

Since graduating, Rhea has had a varied and extensive career. Now an international British multidisciplinary artist, she creates installations and sets for moving image, stills photography, costume and immersive theatre. Her work aims to connect her audience with nature, using narrative to create a nostalgic response.

During her degree, Rhea had a nine-month internship at SHOWstudio as an editorial assistant to Penny Martin. It was during this time she discovered Shona Heath’s work, an established set designer, who Rhea began working for after moving to London, alongside her photographer’s agent assisting role at Big Active.

This opened up opportunities for her career as she worked for her for just over four years, during which time she got to know Tim Walker. Together, they began many projects, from designing his fashion photography book Pictures in 2008 to creating sets and costumes for the likes of Kate Moss, David Attenborough and Monty Python.

In 2011, Rhea created an immersive dinner for the premiere of Tim’s short film, The Lost Explorer, hosted by Claridges in their ballroom. This led to her being noticed by Selfridges, asking her to become one of their "Bright Young Things", creating her very own window to showcase her work on Oxford Street, allowing her to develop a unique style and truly launching her career.

Rhea has since built a strong reputation for herself in the industry – she’s had work exhibited at the V&A on multiple occasions, as well as working with British Vogue, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Vanity Fair and Channel 4 to name a few. In 2014, she was offered the role of Creative Practitioner at UAL, a position she held for nearly three years, and today, she’s still a visiting lecturer, as well as attending other universities.

Currently, Rhea is working on designing global installations for a fashion brand (who can't be named) and stills photography set design.

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