Barnaby Barford - Damaged Goods

Film, 2008. Funded by Arts Council England and Channel 4.

Barnaby Barford - Damaged Goods

Film, 2008. Funded by Arts Council England and Channel 4.

Damaged Goods

Film, 2008. Courtesy the artist.

Damaged Goods tells a tragic/comic story played out by porcelain figurines exploring notions of forbidden love, material wealth and class divisions against a background of tradition and value within ceramics. It turns the classic ‘rags to riches’ plot on its head with an unexpected twist.

“The shelves in the film become the entire world for the characters,” Barford explains, “they represent different strands of society, not necessarily through breeding, but through material wealth with the top shelves adorned with lavish crystal, silver and gold objects while the floor is only occupied by broken discarded items.”

Barnaby Barford

Barnaby Barford offers an uncomfortable glimpse of the world around us. From sculpture to drawing to film, Barford’s work has a clear thread of enquiry connecting his pieces to the human condition.

With works using mass-market found objects and kitsch antique figurines, Barford creates layered narratives bubbling just below the surface. Barford’s work always has an instant likeability which serves, at first, to hide its darkness or political position, but there’s always something sinister going on beneath

Barford is best known for The Tower of Babel (2015), a monumental 6.5m tall tower, created for the V&A in London. The installation comprised of 3000 bone china buildings, each depicting an actual unique London shop that was offered for sale. Prices of the shops rose in relation to their position on the tower, prompting people to confront where they fitted into London’s hierarchy of consumption.

Barnaby Barford’s work has been exhibited internationally with solo shows across Europe and the US, including a retrospective exhibition at MoCA Virginia (2013). Represented by David Gill Gallery in London, his work is part of public and private collections worldwide such as The V&A Museum in London and MoFA in Houston, Texas. He has received many prestigious commissions including Louis Vuitton and a permanent public artwork in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

In 2016 Barford was awarded the Hospital Club’s h.Club 100 Award for Art, Design and Craft which celebrates the most influential and innovative people in the creative industries.