Pollinator Frocks

Ingham, Karen (2011) Pollinator Frocks. UNSPECIFIED.

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Pollinator Frocks was part of an interdisciplinary public engagement project that sought to use prototype wearable technology clothing to address and to raise awareness of the plight of the world’s insect pollinators (bees, butterflies and moths and the plants on which they depend). The clothing was designed to work in two ways: (1) to attract insects through vision and smell, and (2) to offer designs that call attention to the decline in numbers of insect pollinators. In collaboration with microscopist engineer Thierry Maffeis at Swansea University, electron microscopy images of plant pollen grains were used by Ingham to create surface pattern designs and clothing, with the designs being influenced by the way insects view flowers, as determined by theories of pattern, iridescence, and bio-mimicry. Alongside this visual design work, printing and coating engineers at Swansea University developed nectar-type coatings, intended to offer pollinators a ‘food boost’, and applied them to the fabric prior to the cutting of the frocks. Eight bio-mimicry designs and six wearable technology garments were produced by Ingham. The combination of visual design and olfactory coating made them ‘wearable gardens’ that also functioned critically as awareness-raising statements. The project was tested over twelve months through a series of public performances and workshops in New Zealand and the UK, with the principal occasions being the art, technology, culture and ecology event Solar Circuit Aotearoa New Zealand (SCANZ), and a symposium presentation and film screening at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 2011. Further conference presentations and events followed in Berlin and the UK. The results of the tests were inconclusive and research is ongoing. However there was considerable media interest, as documented in the portfolio of evidence. The project was funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, Wales Arts International, and the New Zealand Arts Council.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: Citation: Ingham, K. Pollinator Frocks.
Uncontrolled Keywords: wearable technology, pollination, digital designs, bio-mimicry, entomology, botany
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Wales Institute for Science & Art (WISA) > Academic Discipline: Art & Media
Related URLs:
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2013 15:23
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2020 12:55
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/295

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