Shelley Jacobson – Surface Expressions

Size: 210 x 280 mm
Pages: 28 pages, featuring colour photographs and texts
Type: Softcover, stapled
Edition: Edition of 50
Designer: Shelley Jacobson
Publisher: Self-published
Year: 2015
ISBN: 978-0-473-31107-0


SKU: RPB010 Category:


Surface Expressions is a study of the Wairakei geothermal area in the central North Island. It draws attention to the region’s unique natural features and to the human forces that have formed its current state.

Victorian-era Wairakei was a world renowned and exotic geothermal tourist destination. In the mid-twentieth century it was radically transformed by its conversion to a site for generating electricity. Through this intervention, the underlying geothermal system was irrevocably altered: the spectacular Geyser Valley was extinguished; the steaming craters of Karapiti were revealed. More recently, a man-made geyser has come to accompany the power station in this disrupted landscape.

The photographs in Surface Expressions offer glimpses of the land forms of Wairakei today. The publication takes a wider view, incorporating found text dating from the late nineteenth century through to the present day. These newspaper clippings, advertising materials and Trip Advisor ratings speak in the vernacular of their respective times and frame social ideas and expectations of tourist attractions.