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Barnaby Barford’s ‘Me Want Now’ at David Gill

SEEN is pleased to announce a new body of work by Barnaby Barford at David Gill Gallery. After his residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum for ‘The Tower of Babel’ project in 2015, Barford is back in London with his ‘Me Want Now’ installation, a metaphorical narrative on the dominance of our current ‘me first’ culture, debating our values in an increasingly polarised political landscape. It will be on display until 21st December 2016.


Have more, buy more, do better, move forward, grow, succeed, win… Through sculptures and drawings, this installation challenges us to stop and ask ourselves how we relate to others in the world we live in. The never-ending pace of life driven by the powerful desires of the individual triggers an animalistic self-preservation instinct in us.

The exhibition starts with large-scale energetic World Drawings offering ‘More’, ‘Power’, ‘Change’, ‘Choice’, ‘Hope’, ‘Glory’, ‘Greatness’. Things that we are taught to want now, with no regard for the consequences. They form claustrophobic ‘nets’ that envelop a series of life-size animal sculptures and Trophy Heads.

At the heart of the ‘Me Want Now’ exhibition is a queue of animals lining up patiently waiting, from an 8ft Polar Bear to a Rabbit, as a visual allegory of human existence. In a separate room, a series of Trophy Heads feature ceramic animal heads mounted on mirrored plaques that offer a disturbing sense of doom; Barford’s metaphor of the future that awaits us all as a human species.


As Barnaby Barford explained, “Individually, the words I have chosen are positive as are the pieces in isolation, it is in their relationship to each other and ultimately the installation as a whole that drives the narrative of the exhibition. Fear promotes the ‘me first’ culture, the disregard of consequences and the collateral damage that ensues seems to be eroding our sense of collective humanity.”

Now is the time to pause and ask ourselves if we can avert this doomed future. Barford poses us the question: ”In the face of our insatiable need for more, and the resulting constant sense of discontent, is this what we really want?”

David Gill Gallery
2-4 King Street
St James