Given that I’m all about narrative arc these days, Barnaby Barford is an artist who’s right up my alley. He uses his ceramic skills to tell stories, and his latest project is a doozy—a modern update on A Rake’s Progress that recounts an English lottery winner’s rise and fall. One moment our protagonist is sitting on his couch, watching Newcastle United on the telly while his missus bugs him about a zillion unpaid bills; the next he’s living the high life in a casino, blowing his winnings on pleasures of the flesh. This inevitably leads to a classic downward spiral, as the man—a cross between Andy Capp and a rather noxious sort of chav—lacks the fortitude to control his impulses.
And how does it end? That is yet to be determined; Barford is currently fielding ideas from the public on whether his lucky layabout should find redemption or damnation in the final scene. Keep in mind that poor Tom Rakewell ended up in an asylum, flopping around in his birthday suit. Perhaps the modern-day British equivalent is a turn on a celebrity-oriented reality show.