© The Financial Times Ltd 2015 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
January 3, 2014 3:34 pm
I love to photograph people at work. There is a real challenge in capturing that strange love/hate relationship we have with our jobs. Depending on the work and the people doing it, the balance of that relationship changes but there is always a degree of tension as well as satisfaction and I am looking for ways to express this in my pictures.
What a chance, then, to visit a range of factories and try to show the current state of British manufacturing. I worked around Bristol, my local area, where we have GKN, Airbus and Rolls-Royce, and I photographed one of BAE’s research sites in the city. But really I wanted to see their nuclear submarine yard in Barrow-in-Furness.
So a couple of months later I walked into what must be the biggest shed in British industry, where two nuclear subs were slowly being assembled. It was quite a sight to behold – the man shown striding across the floor gives some indication of the scale.
Renishaw, based in Gloucestershire, is a real success story. Founded in 1973 by two ex-Rolls-Royce employees, it has filled the niche for precision engineering, much of which is applied to the medical industry, and is now a global company. Renishaw invests heavily in research and development, which keeps it well ahead of the pack.
I have watched Aardman, one of Bristol’s most famous companies, grow exponentially during my time living here. I knew David Sproxton, one of the founders, long before he started up and before Wallace & Gromit took the world by storm. Watching the filming in their studios is fascinating, as the progress is so slow – getting five seconds of animation done in a day is really going it.
Other photographers include Stuart Franklin, Jonas Bendiksen, Mark Power, Peter Marlow, Chris Steele-Perkins, David Hurn , Alessandra Sanguinetti. Peter Marsh, the FT’s former manufacturing editor, introduces the issue
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.