Barnsley constructs lively and chaotic sculptures that act as physical manifestations of her experiences with dyslexia. Utilising an alphabet of shapes and motifs that float and fluctuate outside of a structure’s grasp, the resulting compositions hint at a muddled and hectic mind frame. Barnsley also uses a highly saturated colour palette and a wide range of textures, each of which she uses as a different stream of information, aiming for them to bounce off each other and contrast with their surrounding elements as much as possible. An emphasis on experimentation with materials runs heavily through her practice, giving her the ability to use many different mediums in one sculpture alone and create outside of the limitations of one, sole discipline.
As well as finding inspiration from her dyslexic tendencies, Barnsley is also influenced by the possibilities within contemporary imaging software and its ability to depict dyslexic behaviours. Spanning print, painting, collage, and sculpture, her works are often designed in a similar method to the production of digital images; using multiple layers, areas of indicated transparency, and highly saturated, screen-type colours. Concerned with how technological advances in software will continue to change the aesthetic of her work, she is interested in what it means to bring the virtual into the non-virtual, with hand-produced work made with traditional techniques.