Barnaby Barford, "Pride" Mirror, Ceramic, 2012, England.
Barnaby Barford (1977), Mirror "Pride" from the serie 'Seven Deadly Sins',
Ceramic, gold lustre, mirror, enameled wire,
Decorated with flowers, Wood frame,
Artist's stamp on the back and Gill Gallery stamp,
Measures : Height 222 cm, Length 96 cm, Depth 18 cm.
This mirror was exposed at David Gill Gallery in February 2013 in London for the "Seven Deadly Sins" exhibition.
From the witty cultural critique that characterised the early porcelain figurines to the more recent social commentary of installations and word drawings, Barnaby Barford uses familiar iconography to subvert the telling of ancient cautionary tales within a contemporary context. His research explores the fundamental questions driving human nature in terms of morality, conflict between good or evil, lack of happiness, and society’s incessant need for growth.
Although Barford produces work in a wide variety of materials, he consistently returns to ceramics, utilising mass and industrial production processes. To represent Pride, Barford has created a mirror which demands that the viewer sees themselves in entirety, portrayed like a God, within the curved portal of an icon.
This mirror is surrounded by a multitude of flowers in golden clusters which frame the viewer, giving the reflected figure an heroic status. Barford’s interpretation of Pride is his take on the familiar phrase, “If it makes you happy…”, expanding on the notion that pride can be defined by arrogance, defiance, desire for self-fulfilment and self-satisfaction, no matter what impact your desire might have on other people. He was inspired by Henry Fairlie, British political journalist and social critic, who said: “Pride excites us to take too much pleasure in ourselves, but not to take pleasure in our humanity… it causes us to ignore others.”