The Big Win: A Modern Morality Tale by Barnaby Barford

united kingdom-based artist barnaby barford has created unique ceramic narrative pieces reflecting today’s society, has been commissioned to produce a series of sculptures at the Laing Art Gallery. The Big Win: A Modern Morality Tale will tell the story of a ‘layabout’ striving to live a celebrity lifestyle who wins the lottery. Charting his rise and fall as his money runs out, the sculptures will explore our insatiable appetite for celebrity culture and living beyond our means. Loosely based on the narrative of ‘A Rake’s Progress’ by 18th century artist William Hogarth as well as the themes inherent within the Laing’s 18th and 19th Century Permanent Collection, Barnaby Barford’s The Big Win also depicts contemporary society’s problems and experiences such as gambling and luxurious living.

 the big win’ as the protagonist celebrates his lottery win

a scene depicting the dilapidated existence of the protagonist following the final lottery funds being spent


porcelain, tiles with decals, enamel paint, wood, other media

eight partial billboards detailing value-spending establishments to luxury brands separated in two sets of four with the big winner and his companion flanking either side of the advertisements

he life of luxury had by the protagonist following his lottery win

detailed view of the rake figure surrounded by his lottery winnings at he gambles and spends the gifted funds

detailed view of the indulgences had by the protagonist

alternate view of the bank notes and gold coins waiting to be spent by the big winner

the protagonist in the final piece surrounded by an abyss of nothingness

detailed view of the protagonist in the final piece with empty pockets extended

the inebriated big winner contemplates the an unsecured loans advertisement

detailed view of the big winner and the billboard