David Gill Galleries launches new Barnaby Barford sculpture at PAD London
David Gill is delighted to launch Avarice, Barnaby Barford’s latest work, at PAD London from 10-14 October 2012. Avarice takes the form of a large sculptural wall piece made from 9,000 handmade porcelain flowers and leaves patternated with fragments of paper currency, which embellish a mirror like a creeping vine.
The piece’s title, at first, appears to pay homage to the inordinate love of riches. The handmade aspect of the work is evident in the craft of each petal and hence the essence of excessiveness expressed through the title - the obsessive acquiring of wealth and pleasure in riches is reverberated conceptually by the obsessiveness of the highly detailed making process. Just like the sin itself, Barford’s Avarice encapsulates the majesty and captivation of riches perfectly. You, the viewer, become part of the work, reflected in the mirror, as Barford suggests ‘both reflexively and reflectively, demonstrating desire and seeing the truth.’
This work for Barford is an exploration of aspects of human nature. He says: ‘Money represents all that is seen as important in our societies, whether it be luxury, security or survival, having it or the lack of it is everything. It is our obsessive ways to acquire more; our insatiable appetite; never having enough, which causes so many of our problems.’ The piece demands our consideration of this, as well as captivating us with its beauty.
Barford’s recent works take a new turn. Renowned for his works with found, mass-produced ceramic figurines and objects, which he chops and changes, adding pieces on and gluing them together to create deeply sardonic narrative sculptures with darkly comic titles, Avarice is his most commanding work to date in scale, and all aspects of the piece are produced by the artist. His interest in the human condition continues as a central theme in his work, but Avarice marks an exciting change of application and approach.
Barford will be having a solo show of new works at David Gill St James's in April 2013.
Barnaby Barford graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002, Barford has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in the UK, and exhibited internationally. His work is part of both private and public collections.
David Gill Mayfair opened on 24th April at 2-4 King Street, (corner of Duke Street), St James’s, London SW1Y 6QL www.davidgillgalleries.com
A tale of the triumph of celebrity culture is unveiled as Barnaby Barford presents the final sculpture for The Big Win: A Modern Morality Tale at the Laing Art Gallery.
The Laing asked visitors to contribute their ideas to artist Barnaby Barford as to what the seventh sculpture would be, adding to the story of an unemployed layabout who wins the lottery, only to waste all his money.
Since being on display from September 2011, the Gallery received over 1200 submissions from different age groups, all keen to contribute to the artwork and the story. Visitors have either drawn or written their responses providing many touching, clever and amusing endings. The majority hoped to see the main character getting his just deserts, but some endings involved redemption, in the hope that the moral would be that money isn't everything.
Barford's sculpture loosely based on the narrative painting of ‘A Rake’s Progress’ by 18th Century artist William Hogarth, was joined by the final sculpture on 1 May and will be on display at the Laing until 2 September 2012.
Unlike Hogarth's Rakes progress the final piece shows the main character rich again, hanging out of a limousine having managed to sell his story to the press regaining his celebrity status. The moral for the 21st century - that fame and money can be easily acquired by a story of disreputable behaviour. However, in aspiring to be like wealthy celebrities, has the character become a form of entertainment for others?
About the final sculpture, Barnaby Barford says:
“It’s really refreshing to get the public involved in this piece of art, it gives a new perspective on things. The final piece is crucial to the moral of the whole collection and I feel the visitors really understood this.”
Barford has created a piece that continues, but does not close off the story – and so is still open to interpretation where visitors can draw their own conclusions as to what could happen next.
Julie Milne, Chief Curator of Art Galleries, says: “It is an exciting approach to get visitors involved in contributing to an art work, especially given that the ideas in Barford’s work are so pertinent today. We hope this has not only given visitors an insight into the world of the artist / curator – but also been an enjoyable experience in visiting the Laing.”
The ceramic sculptures are typical of Barford’s satirical style as he explores and celebrates human beings, exploring all aspects of society which provoke and are somewhat appalling at times, whilst at the same time, making us laugh.
The Laing Art Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 2pm to 5pm. Admission is free. For more details visit www.laingartgallery.org.uk or find the Laing on Facebook, Twitter @laingArtGallery and Flickr.