Barnaby Barford 'A Midsummer Night's Dream’

Exhibition / Installation

Partner Programme

16, 18 — 23 Sept 2023

Digital, Interiors & Furniture, Art / Collectibles

David Gill Gallery

2 - 4 King Street

St. James's




David Gill Gallery presents 'A Midsummer Night's Dream’, new works by Barnaby Barford, seamlessly intertwining technology and nature’s beauty. Over the past three years, Barford immersed himself in the captivating embrace of Epping Forest, where he sought solace and inspiration, while reflecting on the passage of time.

A reflection on Barford’s journey through the forest's winding paths, the exhibition emerged from the peculiar conditions of 2020 onwards, when countless walks in London’s woodlands led to him accumulating thousands of photographs of flora and fungi. Many of the images from his intensive walks have been transformed into four large-scale moving-image artworks that the artist calls Living Paintings. Barford overlays the photographs, crafting intricate layers that gradually evolve over a loop lasting an hour and a half. What was once a simple snapshot of nature, hypnotically blossoms into galactic scenes, microscopic realms, and even tribal masks. Barford says: "These works are an invitation to slow down, I wanted to create an oasis of calm in contrast to the velocity of the 21st Century life". The Living Paintings will be shown at David Gill Gallery alongside a series of new Arborglyph Pictures - dense compositions of initials, dates, and declarations of love, gouged into the bark of the forest’s ancient trees. Barford has also created a large light sculpture, composed of 9,000 individually crafted celadon-glazed ivy leaves, that will throw a dappled light around the gallery. As a further invitation to slow down, the artist has designed benches for the exhibition. Reminiscent of his word drawings and cut from steel, they are evocative of tangled branches and the forest’s organic layering. 'A Midsummer Night's Dream’ will transport you to the magical realm of the forest, that has inspired the artist so deeply.