Craigieburn Exhibition documents end of manufacturing at Ford

Photographer Andrew Chapman.


An exhibition documenting the end of car manufacturing at Ford’s Broadmeadows plant has gone on show at Craigieburn.

Created by photojournalist Andrew Chapman, Drive Line comprises a series of black and white photographs taken at the Ford assembly plant in June.

The series was commissioned by Hume council and Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery curator Tobias Hengeveld.

Mr Chapman spent four days at the plant photographing the manufacturing process.

The photographs depict the construction of new cars, from the building of their chassis through to the final product rolling off the production line into a paddock.

Mr Chapman said his favourite photograph from the series shows a man sitting at the paint shop reading a book while waiting for the next car.

“There was a 10-minute gap between cars … in the past, his work would have been continuous. It says a lot about what [car]manufacturing has come to, in the end,” he said.

One of the photos from Andrew Chapman's exhibition.
One of the photos from Andrew Chapman’s exhibition.

Mr Chapman believes the photos will be valued by generations to come.

“It was a privilege to photograph workers and the Ford environment,” he said. “This exhibition is an invaluable record of such an important part of Victoria and its history of manufacturing.

“I met migrants whose first and only job after coming off the boat was to start work at Ford the following day, and stayed for the next 30 years.

“I met fathers and sons working together, people of different nationalities who were firm friends.

“What I witnessed from all of them was a deep commitment to their product, a love of their craft and a great camaraderie between nationalities.”

Drive Line is at the Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery until January 29.
Drive Line is at the Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery until January 29.

Drive Line is at the Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery, 75-95 Central Park Avenue, Craigieburn until January 29.