Inside New Zealand’s most inspiring rooms


‘About a decade and a half ago, after 30 years photographing people for the New Zealand Listener, Jane Ussher left the magazine and developed a new focus.

It started with a chance meeting with Helen Clark.

The then prime minister had recently been in Antarctica and had fallen under the spell of the South Pole.

“She talked about going into Robert Falcon Scott’s hut, and got very choked up about it,” Ussher recalls.

The photographer seized the moment. “I think you need to send me down there immediately,” Ussher told Clark.

Eighteen months later, over the summer of 2008-09, Ussher was in Antarctica, taking photographs of the huts built by Scott and Ernest Shackleton on their early-20th century polar expeditions.

For Ussher, the experience was transformative. “I knew that I had a body of work which was so much more than a documentation of the huts,” she says. “Once I got back to New Zealand, I had the confidence to go and start shooting interiors, and I knew how I wanted to photograph them.”’

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