Here at Artillery we are very proud to have been a part of a new display appearing at the V and A in September 2015!
The Tower of Babel is a richly-layered work, telling an array of stories about our capital city, our society and economy, and ourselves as consumers. Standing an imposing six metres tall and resembling a South American favela, the Tower comprises 3000 bone china shops, each measuring 10-13cm tall and made in Stoke-on-Trent. Barford has cycled over 1000 miles so far and visited every postcode in London photographing well over 6000 shop fronts. These will be turned into ceramic transfers and fired onto the shops, so that each shop is unique.
The shops at the base of the Tower are derelict and closed down, then as the Tower starts to rise we see chicken shops, pound shops, bookies and then, as the Tower climbs towards its pinnacle, the shops become more exclusive until at the top are found London’s crème-de-la-crème of exclusive boutiques,galleries and auction houses. Explicitly blurring the boundaries of art and commerce, each unique shop will be for sale during the 6 week exhibition, the shops at the base of the Tower being relatively cheap whilst those at the top will be extremely expensive, forcing the consumer to make a choice of where they fit into the hierarchy of material consumption through aspiration or financial restriction.