IN DEFENCE OF INDUSTRY
12 - 26 MAY
104 Abbey Road, LA14 5QR
Exhibition Opening Times:
Fri 12 – Sat 26 May
Open Wed-Sat | 11am – 5pm
Launch Evening: Thurs 11 May 6pm
In Defence of Industry is a new commission by Felicity Hammond, whose work extends through photography, sculpture and into installation. The installation brings into focus the relationship between the industrial history of Barrow-in-Furness and the wider Cumbrian landscape, in particular the area’s mining history and the subsequent shift towards the nuclear industry during the mid-twentieth century.
Cutting to the heart of the continuing political issues surrounding the impact of nuclear industry, the work raises themes around defence, secrecy and the unseen earth below the surface. To create the work Felicity spent time in the area, travelling through the Furness landscape and interpreting its diverse character through her own visual practice. West Cumbria’s grand industrial past is found all over the local landscape in traces, evident in stories, archival materials, and the occasional relic reclaimed by nature. This installation uses these hidden histories to talk about our potential nuclear future in a landscape which doesn’t just aid defence, but also requires it.
“It’s a metaphor for what might be hidden politically…around the military [in the area]. I used the metaphor of the history of mining for the future.”
- Felicity Hammond
The photo collage work is printed as a four metre light box, sitting on the edge of a huge expanse of water in the gallery space. This use of water echoes the man-made docks at BAE, nuclear repositories, and the lakes in the surrounding Cumbrian Landscape; an area which is continually under threat as a site for burying nuclear waste. This work imagines the unknown effects of the fusion between the nuclear and the natural, whilst exploring ideas around excavation and mining from West Cumbria’s iron-ore mining past.
Felicity is an award-winning artist and has been nominated for the high-profile Magnum and Photo London Awards as well as receiving the Single Image Award at the British Journal of Photography in 2016. Her work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally, and this year in addition to this exhibition in Barrow-in- Furness, her work is being exhibited in Rotterdam, New York, London and Berlin.