High voltage visual history
Have you ever heard the diesel generators of the Keith Street Power Station?
It’s an astounding experience: the thunder of those two British Polar K48M engines rattles your ribs, and your ears forget they ever heard anything else. It’s also a rare one: the station was declared an earthquake risk in 2013 and closed.
From March 25, with Te Manawa’s help, you can still get close to one of Palmerston North’s last pieces of industrial heritage.
Power to the People is an exhibition of photographs by members of the Applied Photography Group, an affiliate of the Manawatu Camera Club.
Always striving to improve their photographic technique, the APG went to Keith St to challenge themselves in the station’s historic halls.
By today’s standards, Keith St didn’t make a lot of electricity, but it generates untold power as a photographic subject. Whether it’s showing the grimy guts of the generators themselves, the people who keep them in working order, or the quiet spaces away from the highvoltage action, Power to the People is a fascinating look into our industrial past, courtesy of some of Manawatu’s most skilled photographers.
Although the building is safe from demolition for the time being, it remains on the dreaded ‘‘earthquakeprone’’ list, and the volunteers who keep it in working order have only a shoestring budget.
The exhibition will become another vital facet to the work of documenting, preserving and, perhaps one day, restoring this historic site.
Power to the People is your opportunity to see this part of our heritage beautifully framed by discerning eyes, and runs at the Te Manawa Gallery until June 12.