Damaged Goods was commissioned by Animate Projects, funded by Arts Council England and Channel 4 where it was first broadcast in September 2008.
The film marks Artist Barnaby Barford’s first venture into animated film, creating a new world for his porcelain characters. “I’ve always seen my pieces as scenes from a film – I want viewers to make up what happened before and what might happen afterwards – so it felt like a natural progression to work on a film,” Barford explains.
The film tells a tragic story played by porcelain figurines residing in a bric-a-brac shop. It explores notions of forbidden love, material wealth and class divisions using traditions of value within ceramics, while also turning the classic ‘rags to riches’ plot on its head with an unexpected twist. “The shelves in the film become the entire world for the characters,” Barford explains, “they represent different strands of society not necessarily through breeding but through material wealth with the top shelves adorned with lavish crystal, silver and gold objects while the floor is only occupied by broken discarded items.”
The film is populated by a host of characters; from the hero and heroine – a down-at-heel boy and a beautiful girl; to a sinister male character who could be the girl’s father or lover; to a cast of circus show freaks; to the genteel card-playing, piano-playing blue and white figurines representing the middle classes.