Iconic Industry explores the iconic value of the industrial built fabric in Geelong. Five artists were selected for their diverse practices responding directly to vacant industrial spaces and the memories that have shaped what it has meant to live in Geelong.

Funded by Creative Victoria, the artists have developed their work in a collaborative studio space in the industrial precinct in North Geelong through a program of engagement with emerging local artists, the Geelong community, and past Ford workers.

This is the third component of the #VacantGeelong project developed by a team of academic architects and artists at Deakin University. The project addresses the departure of industry from Geelong as a significant current moment in its history.

Communities perceive the departure of industry negatively. Their closures have resulted in deterioration of the site or the demolition of the vacant buildings and their replacement with a new but unresponsive built environment.

#VacantGeelong perceives history and memory as embodied in the abandoned industrial buildings and sites. These become the artifacts of continuity within processes of change. In contrast to expedient development the project calls for an interval or pause to focus artistic processes on the re-activation of memory and erasure.

Iconic Industry will also include the work of artist Alexander Hamilton and the creative research works of Deakin Master of Architecture students (from 2015, 2016 and 2017) in their final year.

Alexander Hamilton piloted the project with his work focusing on the powerful presence of the Ford Complex on Melbourne Road.

The creative works of the Master of Architecture students have explored the industrial built fabric of Geelong - the levels of ‘vacancy’ in Geelong – buildings, lands, sites – as well as what ‘vacancy’ means and how it presents latent possibilities; and notions of ‘embodied memory’ through material and cultural perspectives.

Their work is in various media including creative mapping, film, drawings and modelling.