Thomas Welton Art Gallery
March - April 2015
Barnaclad is a wearables fabrication system of silicone pieces that magnetically link together. The system's modular design is inspired by growth processes, and allows for a multitude of structures. Nature's products are always in flux, being added to and subtracted from continuously. They are still functional despite all of this. Man-made products, on the other hand, are generally non-functional when subtracted from, and adding to them is not usually possible. Humans create products that are intentionally fully designed and subsequently fully made. This sequential design and construction process in man-made production can be limiting. The simultaneous design and construction process in nature's production allow things to form without a predetermined plan, responding to various stimuli from the environment as needed.
Beth's intention for Barnaclad is to allow for designing and constructing to happen simultaneously. She also wanted to create pieces that were never finished and also never unfinished: they would be added to and taken from without fatal consequence, always either growing or decaying with a total system net zero. In theory, these silicone barnacles are infinitely reusable just like nature's modular units, from barnacles to atoms.