The ‘Fordtown’ exhibition arrives in Geelong, celebrating the historic motoring giant and its impact on the city
10.08.2021

The ‘Fordtown’ exhibition arrives in Geelong, celebrating the historic motoring giant and its impact on the city

Image by Kaitlyn Church

Visit the photographic and film immortalisation of the beloved motor vehicle company and the people who made it a proud Geelong gem.

Platform Arts Celebrates The Historic Significance of Motoring Giant, Ford Motoring Company, Through FORDTOWN exhibition series.

Platform Arts, one of Geelong’s most dynamic arts organisations, is hosted a special two-week exhibition series dedicated to historic motoring giant, Ford Motoring Company, and the humble town that it called home, Geelong or Fordtown.

The key takeaways

  • Fordtown is an expanded documentary project that explores the impact that the closure of the Ford Motor Company’s manufacturing facilities has had on the city of Geelong
  • Presented by Kaitlyn Church, Fordtown comes five years after the closure of the iconic Geelong location
  • Fordtown will also include a Ford Reunion on Saturday 14 August

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Opening in Gallery One, Fordtown is an expanded documentary project presented by Melbourne based visual artist, Kaitlyn Church, that explores the impact that the closure of the Ford Motor Company’s manufacturing facilities has had on the city of Geelong, five years on.

When the last engine rolled off the assembly line in October 2016, the 91-year long manufacturing history between the Ford Motor Company and the city was brought to an end. The identity of the city of Geelong has been linked to the local Ford Factory since it began operation in 1925. The advent of Ford Australia allowed the city to enjoy the same type of wealth and prosperity as other motor cities across the globe like Detroit, Nagoya, and Birmingham.

Geelong became so synonymous with the company that it would colloquially become known as ‘Fordtown’.

Utilising her upbringing in rural Victoria as a source of inspiration for her photographic work; Kaitlyn Church is focused on documenting the ever-changing landscape of regional Australia. With interest in the history of Australia and exploring the impact of past events on the contemporary landscape, her project Fordtown questions the human cost of post-industrialization through the exploration of the ramifications of the closure of Ford’s manufacturing facilities in her hometown of Geelong.

Cities will inevitably move forward from ‘blue-collar’ industries such as manufacturing, and transition into a post-industrial society, focusing on the production of knowledge, rather than the production of goods. This transition comes with many benefits for the environment and local working conditions. This project questions the human cost of this progress and documents the impact the loss of Ford has had on the city of Geelong through the stories of individual workers.

The exhibition will be running until Friday 20 August 2021 with a special closing event from 6pm as it celebrates the motor manufacturing company through image, video and story.

Further contributing to this narrative, a Ford Reunion will be held within the gallery space for former employees of the North Geelong site and expanded Broadmeadows factory. This will be taking place Saturday 14 August 2021.

Visit the photographic and film immortalisation of the beloved motor vehicle company and the people who made it a proud Geelong gem.

For more information, visit the Platform website.