A Barnacle’s Life

A Barnacle’s Life, is the outcome of a journey, both geographical and psychological. While taking walks through tide pools in the Olympic National Park, I was drawn to rocks with barnacle plates. Although the barnacles themselves were long gone, the remaining shell plates were a reminder that barnacles once lived there. Barnacles dwell within a permanent residence for most of their lives. It is only at the beginning of their journey that they must decide where they will live. As I walked the tide pools, the vestiges of their large communities evoked images of Favelas in Brazil, or homes cut into rock in Cappadocia, Turkey.


When I later moved to New York State, I found myself living once again near a tidal estuary, and looking for evidence of barnacles. River rocks along the Hudson River became an east/west throughline, and the idea behind A Barnacle’s Life began to take shape. My process started with an existing collection of stones encrusted with barnacles. These stones inspired me to gather Hudson River rocks, on which I later placed colorful sculptural forms suggestive of barnacles made of pigmented polymer clay. Notions of belonging, of place, and seeing our own means of shelter reflected in nature is reminiscent of barnacles cementing themselves to a hard substrate upside down for the rest of their lives.