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  • The Sky's the Limit, Barnaby Barford, 2011. Crafts Council Collection: 2013.2. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography

The Sky’s the Limit by Barnaby Barford

Chosen by Celine West at UCL Museums

We ask makers, curators, designers, creative practitioners and the Crafts Council team to select their favourite object from the Crafts Council Collection and to tell us why.

Celine West, Head of Learning and Access, UCL Museums

It feels like a crushing comment on sexualised society but made with humour and references to both the history of ceramic figurines and cartoon satire. 

What I love about this piece is the spectrum of subjects that radiate from it; the narratives around sexuality, desire, femininity. It feels like a crushing comment on sexualised society but made with humour and references to both the history of ceramic figurines and cartoon satire.

I like the way things are not as they seem, that we have a dual response – the first sight where we think this is a sweet little girl, rosebud lips, socks falling down, placed to peer with curiosity into the mirror; turn on the light and this is replaced by discomfort at seeing her aspire to being a sexualised figure. She’s too young for this vision to be empowering. 

I was surprised to find this in the Crafts Council collection - it raised for me questions of: what is craft? Where are the boundaries between contemporary art and craft? I think this work is a great demonstration of functional and found objects being used to comment on contemporary humanity.


The Sky's The Limit, Barnaby Barford, 2011, Crafts Council  Collection: 2013.2. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography

About this Object

Date of making: 2011
Date of acquisition: 2013
Technique/Process:  Cast and layered resin, glass reinforced resin from silicon moulds and found porcelain objects
Materials: Resin, glass, porcelain
Collection Number: 2013.2

View this object in Collections Online

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