The Battle of Trafalgar - 2010 Installation Shots
The Battle of Trafalgar (2010)
The Battle of Trafalgar is an ambitious piece and Barford's largest to date. Trafalgar Square, located in the very heart of London, has for almost two hundred years been a destination and attraction for Londoners and tourists alike. Since the Battle of Trafalgar in the Napoleonic Wars, the square has provided continually evolving documentation of the history of the UK with it's statues, plinths, and as a meeting point for celebration and revolution. It has been described as the blank slab upon which Britain has inscribed it's modern history.
Artist Barnaby Barford has created his own rendition of the square, documenting the hidden histories and seedy underbelly of London; Drink, Violence, Consumerism, Junk food, Protest and Terrorism all inhabit this world. A graffiti covered statue, bird shit encrusted columns (pigeons, which once, at their height numbered 35,000 in the square were actually banned from being fed and chased out with trained falcons in 2000), rights protestors, hen-do nuns, babies drinking booze, and kids selling counterfeit cigarettes are lovingly represented by Barford's innocent looking angels. The saccharine figurines have been transformed from chocolate box, romantic images of life into a new, jarring narrative. Added tension is given to the piece in the form of a loan sports bag, entitled unattended luggage.
This is the first time Barford has attempted such a big scene and introduces concrete into his aesthetic.