The Battle of Trafalgar, 2010

This piece was part of a solo exhibition at OA Madrid in 2010. The Battle of Trafalgar is an ambitious piece inspired by Trafalgar Square, a must-visit destination and one of the main attractions for Londoners and tourists alike. Since the Battle of Trafalgar in the Napoleonic Wars, the square – meeting point for celebration and revolution – has provided a continually evolving documentation of the history of the UK with its statues and plinths, not to mention the blank slab upon which Britain has inscribed its modern history.

 

Introducing concrete into his aesthetic for the first time, Barford created his own rendition of the square, documenting the hidden histories and seedy underbelly of London: Drink, Violence, Consumerism, Junk food, Protest and Terrorism. […] By Ken Harman

The piece’s centre is a Lion covered in graffiti and looking much sadder than the one in the real Trafalgar Square. The piece is formalised by 4 columns with cherubs on top, each covered in pigeons and bird shit. The rest of the work comprises of 22 individual pieces, each a vignette of contemporary life.

The saccharine figurines have been transformed from chocolate box, romantic images of life into a new, jarring narrative.