The photographs which make up ROOM ROOM show the Salvation Army’s former Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility on Rotoroa Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. Established in the early 1900s the island facility was a purpose-built centre for rehabilitation, operational until its last residents left in December 2005. Currently leased by the Salvation Army to a charitable trust, Rotoroa Island is making a transition to a conservation estate. Ann Shelton spent time on the island after the occupants had gone, photographing the one-time women’s wing of the Phoenix building pending its demolition. The resultant images operate both as an inventory and also a kind of elegy to the place.

    Text by Abby Cunnane (excerpt). First published by The Wellington City Gallery in 2008 on the occasion of the exhibition Room Room.