Working across drawing, sculpture, film, installation and painting, Barnaby uses familiar iconography such as the humble Apple, to subvert the telling of ancient cautionary tales within a contemporary context. Whilst a witty cultural critique characterised his early porcelain figurines, his more recent sculptures, drawings and digital paintings construct layered narratives through repetition and accumulation. By holding up a mirror to society, he prompts us to look again and reflect upon inequalities, obsessions and systems of belief.

In Barford’s Word Drawings, abstract pictures are made by writing the same word over and over again. By incessantly repeating words such as Hope, Glory, Truth and Love, Barford asks us to reevaluate their meaning in today’s complex socio-cultural environment.

Although Barford produces work in a wide variety of materials, he consistently returns to ceramics. Utilising his knowledge of ceramic manufacturing processes he is able to further explore accumulation and repetition to create monumental artworks such as The Tower of Babel (V&A 2015) and unique artworks such as The Seven Deadly Sins mirrors from thousands of industrially produced pieces.

Whether using shops, apples, flowers or words, throughout his work, Barnaby holds up a mirror to society, prompting us to look again and reflect upon inequalities, obsessions and systems of belief.

Barford (b.1977) has been represented by David Gill Gallery, London since 2004. He has exhibited internationally with major solo shows across Europe and the US, including a survey show at MOCA Virginia (2013). His work is part of many public and private collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas, and the National Libraries of France and the Netherlands. 

“Brilliantly puckish, and something of an agent provocateur. By seduction and guile, his work exposes our inner frailties, prejudices and desires, holding up a mirror to us both metaphorically as well - on occasion - physically. Few are so incisive and insightful.”

Alun Graves, Senior Curator of the Ceramics and Glass Collection at the V&A.

Barnaby Barford, 1977

Lives and works – London

Education

2000/02 MA Ceramics and Glass Royal College of Art
1999 ISIA, Faenza, Italy Erasmus Socrates exchange programme
1997/2000 BA(Hons) First 3D design University of Plymouth, Exeter

Teaching

2004 to present, Central Saint Martins, London, Associate Lecturer 

 

Public Collections

Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas, USA
National Museum, Sweden
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Crafts Council, London, UK
Shipley Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Museums, UK
The Paintings in Hospitals Collection, UK
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, UK
The National Library of the Netherlands
The National Library of France
Public Library of Reims, France
Public Library of Limoges, France

Selected Solo Exhibitions 

2020 TRUTHLIESFEARLOVE, David Gill Gallery, Online Exhibition
2019 MORE MORE MORE, David Gill Gallery, London
2016 ME WANT NOW, David Gill Gallery, London
2015 The Tower of Babel, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
2013 Barnaby Barford, MOCA Virginia, USA
2013 The Seven Deadly Sins, David Gill Gallery, London
2011 Love Is… David Gill Galleries, London, including publication
2010 The Battle of Trafalgar, OA Madrid, Spain
2010 Damaged Goods, David Gill Galleries, London
2009 The Good, The Bad, The Belle, Spring Projects, London
2007 Private Lives, David Gill Galleries, London
2006 A day in the life, David Gill Galleries, Design Miami 2006
2005 Beauty of the Beast, David Gill, London
2004 Dear God, Paul Smith, Floral St, London
2002 Ceramic Illusions, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea

Awards

2016 h.Club 100 award in Art, Design & Craft, The Hospital Club, London
2007 Medal of the President of the Italian Republic International Competition of Ceramic Art, Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Faenza, Italy
2005 Wallpaper* Young Designer of the Year

Selected Public & Private Commissions 

2016 Permanent Public Artwork, London Borough of Waltham Forest
2013 Louis Vuitton permanent sculptures for Louis Vuitton Selfridges
2011 The Big Win, The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, Arts Council England
2009 Mirrors for International Corporate Art, Miami
2008 Film for Animate Projects, Channel 4 and Arts Council England
2007 Wallpaper* Fashion Story
2004 Nativity Scene, David Gill Galleries, London
2003 Ceramic work, LCA Contemporary Art Ltd, Oslo
2003 Installation, Applied Arts Agency, Clerkenwell, London
2003 Installation, Saatchi and Saatchi, London

Selected Group Exhibitions 

2020 KCAW, London
2018 Erotic: Passion & Desire, Sotheby’s, London
2018 Material Earth: Myth, Material and Metamorphosis, Messum’s Wiltshire
2018 Nature Morte, Contemporary Artists reinvigorate the Still Life, Guildhall Art Gallery, London
2017 The Learned Society of Extra Ordinary Objects, Somerset House, London
2017 Turn The Page: 10 Years of Hi-Fructose, Akron Art Museum in Ohio and Crocker Art Museum in California, USA
2017 Craftsmanship Alone is Not Enough, Lethaby Gallery, London
2016 Turn The Page: 10 Years of Hi-Fructose, MOCA Virginia, USA
2016 Brutal Beauty, Marta Herford, Germany
2015 My Blue China, Bernardaud Foundation, Limoges, France and travelling
2015 Nature Morte, Contemporary Artists reinvigorate the Still Life, Hå game prestegard, Stavanger, Norway and travelling to museums across Europe including in; Poland, Sweden, UK
2015 Porcelain: The White Gold of Europe, Haifa City Museum, Israel
2015 The Art Room, Selfridges Work It!, London
2014 Chandeliers, David Gill Gallery, London
2014 XXIII International Biennial contemporary art and ceramics Vallauris, France
2013 Victoriana, Guildhall Art Gallery, London
2013 Kunstenfestival Watou 2013, Belgium
2013 Isn’t it Romantic? Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Köln, Germany, including publication
2012 Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics, MFA Houston, Texas, including publication
2012 Family Matters, Laing Gallery, Newcastle
2012 Never Never, Aberystwyth Art Centre, Wales
2012 I ❤ 3D, Christie’s, London
2011 Meta Domestic, Landesgalerie, Linz, Austria
2011 Ting Tang Trash, Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway
2009 Porzellan – Weisses Gold, Musuem Bellerive, Zürich, Switzerland
2009 Object Factory, Museum of Art and Design, New York, USA
2009 Our Objects, Contemporary Ceramics in Context, Glasgow and touring
2009 Global Books, “Cité du Livre” in Aix en Provence, France
2008 Biennal of Vallauris, France
2008 Petits bouleversements au centre de la table, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
2008 Petits bouleversements au centre de la table, Limoges, France
2007 Domestic Deities, Garth Clark Gallery, New York, USA
2006 Extremely White, Otro Diseo, Amsterdam
2006 In Production, Future Lab, London
2005 Design 05 Miami, David Gill Galleries, Miami
2005 L’artiste et ceux qui le soutiennent, Espace Tajan, Paris
2005 Upstairs in the Woodlands, London
2005 Design Boom, ICFF, New York, USA
2005 Platos Rotos, Cordoba and Touring, Spain
2005 Writing Aloud, London
2005 Spirit of Liberty, Liberty’s, London
2004 5F 69, London
2004 Teatotal, Crafts Council, London
2004 Common Purpose, London
2004 Weapons of Mass Seduction, Berlin
2004 Domestic (F)utility, New Arts Centre & Sculpture Park,Salisbury
2004 Barret Marsden Gallery Collection, London
2004 Weapons of Mass Seduction, Koln, Germany
2003 Telltale, Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
2003 Art and Tradition, West Dean House, Chichester
2003 Waste to Taste, Sotheby’s, London
2002 Unpacked, Gifu, Japan
2002 The Map is not the Territory, England and Co Gallery, London
2002 Art and Tradition, West Dean House, Chichester
2002 Ceramic Contemporaries 4, London and touring