Geothermal power to the people!
Artist taps steamy issue of Geothermal power in Taupo
As part of Taupo’s Erupt Festival, opening this week, artist Tim Barlow is erecting a temporary Public Fountain using geothermal power in Taupo’s CBD. It will also be centerpiece for a series of talks around the ownership and control of geothermal power.
As a metaphor for the questionably dwindling resource, the fountain will have to be operated by at least two members of the public to get it to spurt or ‘font’.
“For the first half of the 20th Century the Wairakei geysers were as spectacular as those in Rotorua,” says Barlow, a Wellington based artist.
“This energy is now being increasingly mined to power the national grid at the expense of small-scale uses and natural geothermal features.”
With work continuing apace on Mighty River Power’s Ngatamariki, the third geothermal power station built in the Taupo region in the last five years, the Public
Fountain will explore public feeling around the control of geothermal power. Mighty River Power is a State owned asset flagged for sale this year.
Tim Barlow’s Public Fountain will be located at the corner of Horomatangi Street and Marama Arcade in Taupo’s town centre. Scientists, iwi members, engineers and artists are presenting at a series of talks between 12 and 2pm from Wednesday till Friday in Marama Arcade, next to Marama Hair design and barber shop. On Saturday 19th May the fountain and discussions will be found in the Turangi town centre plaza.
Tim is encouraging all members of the public to attend. “I’m really looking forward to people sharing their stories. I’ve met some amazing individuals with wonderful
stories to share in Taupo which reveal the deep relationship residents have with their special natural resource, and the ingenuity and imaginative uses they put it
The storytelling sessions are structured around different themes with different speakers and a historic film presentation of the Wairakei geysers, care of the New
Zealand Film Archive. The confirmed speakers are as follows:
Wednesday 16th May, 12-2pm: Geothermal legends and memories
Bringing stories from our past into the land of tomorrow.
Dylan Tahau,Taupo District Council
Jenny Pattrick, Novelist
Alison Harrington, Story-recorder, Time of your Life
Thursday 17th May, 12-2pm: Geothermal and future visions
School students unleash their imaginations on our geothermal future.
Paul White, GNS Scientist
Gillian Cooke, Writer, journalist
Friday 18th May, 12-2pm: Geothermal and money
The community and private control of power
Pat Brown, Accountant: From a Hot-pool to a Geothermal Power Plant
Pattrick O’Brien, Poet, writer
Ian Thain, Geoscientist: Use of Low Temperature Geothermal
With response from Bill Lomas, teacher
Saturday 19th May, 12-2pm (Turangi): Geothermal case study:
Management, guardianship and beauty of the geothermal resource
David Livingstone, Ngati Kurauia
John Ham, Te Kura o Hirangi
Anna McKnight, Department of Conservation
People interested in contributing says Barlow can either just turn up or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and register their interest.
About Letting Space
This work is part of a series produced by leading public art programme Letting Space called Community Service, that commissions contemporary artists to work
with communities around New Zealand towards social change, using arts festivals as platforms. www.lettingspace.org.nz
Joining the Public Fountain project at Erupt within the same series is D.A.N.C.E FM 106.7, a mobile radio station that moves around different communities in the
Taupo region. Letting Space is excited to make the Taupo region one of their first launchpads for this series. This projects is funded by Creative New Zealand and
Erupt Festival Taupo, with the support of John Frew Farm Water Specialists Ltd, Warmington Drilling Ltd, and Ian Thain.
About Tim Barlow
Tim Barlow is a Wellington artist with an MFA from Massey University Wellington 2011. He has extensive experience nationally and internationally in film and
television art departments, and specialises in crossing barriers of film production and art production. He has worked on collaborative projects with community and
film based organisations. Commissioned projects include Manawatu Art Gallery, MONZ, Artspace (Auckland), Dowse Museum, Wellington Activity Centre, Vincents
Art Workshop and many film production departments.
For more information and photographs contact
Or 029 934 9749 or 027 3566128. Tim Barlow can be reached on 021 766 259.