The Rapoport Award for Women in Art & Tech

In Defence of Industry

Felicity Hammond


‘In Defence of Industry’ brings into focus the relationship between the industrial history of the northwest of England and the wider Cumbrian landscape, in particular the area’s mining history and the subsequent shift towards the nuclear industry during the mid-20th century. Cutting to the heart of the continuing political issues surrounding the impact of nuclear industry in the area best known for being the place where nuclear submarines are built, the work raises themes around defence, secrecy and the unseen earth below the surface.


This photo collage work is printed as a four-metre lightbox, sitting on the edge of an expanse of water in the gallery space. The image imagines the unknown effects of the fusion between the nuclear and the natural, whilst exploring ideas around excavation and mining from the area’s iron-ore mining past.


Beyond responding to the local, the work now becomes more pertinent than ever amongst a global narrative, where we might be considering our potential nuclear future. The image depicts a landscape filled with nuclear sheds amongst the ruin of the iron-ore mining past, pointing towards both the growth and collapse of industry, and the potential transformation of the landscape.


Commissioned by Signal Film and Media and supported by Arts Council England.