Did you know Morley Butchers are being featured at the V&A ! We are one of the shops featured in the Tower of Babel project by artist Barnaby Barford.

The Tower of Babel Project

The Tower of Babel is Barnaby Barford’s representation of London today.  Standing six metres high, it is made up of 3000 individual bone china buildings, each depicting a real London shop photographed by the artist. Including Morley Butchers. At the base are derelict shops and pound stores, while at the pinnacle are London’s exclusive boutiques and galleries. (FYI we are in the middle.)

Blurring the boundaries of art and commerce, each shop is for sale during the period of its exhibition at the Museum. With prices rising as the Tower ascends, it confronts us with the choices we make as consumers, through necessity or desire.

The Tower of Babel stands as a monument to the pastime of shopping, perhaps the principle leisure pursuit of contemporary British society. Playfully, Barford likens our efforts to find fulfilment through retail to the biblical Tower of Babel’s attempt to reach heaven. His seemingly precarious Tower poses questions about the nature of our society and the fragility of economy, exposing the divide between rich and poor.

Barford’s Tower is also a survey of the streets of early 21st century London. It reminds us not to take for granted how our city actually looks, and how it constantly changes. It reflects, often delightfully, how shop design and graphics impact upon our surroundings and how we feel about certain areas. Perhaps contrary to expectations, it captures an extraordinary diversity in London’s retailers, cataloguing a plethora of independent shops that cater to the needs of their communities. In a direct reversal to the Bible’s Babel – the architects of which were scattered by God and their languages confused – we see shop owners, entrepreneurs and big brands from all over the world, speaking every language under the sun, together, in the city of London, building a tower of commerce.

Specially created for the Museum, The Tower of Babel will be displayed in the V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance Galleries from 8 September to 1 November 2015.

You can see more about the tower of babel project here >>

More about Barnaby Barford here >>