Barnaby Barford: The Tower of Babel

Created specially for the V&A by artist Barnaby Barford, The Tower of Babel was displayed in the V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance Galleries from 8 September to 1 November 2015.

The Tower of Babel is Barnaby Barford’s representation of London today. Standing six metres high, it was originally made up of 3000 individual bone china buildings, each depicting a real London shop photographed by the artist. Derelict shops and pound stores appeared at the bottom of the tower, while London’s exclusive boutiques and galleries featured at the summit.

Blurring the boundaries of art and commerce, each shop was for sale through the V&A.

With prices rising as the Tower ascends, it confronted us with the choices we make as consumers, through necessity or desire.