Mandy Barker’s artistic direction has evolved from graphic design to photography and is currently focused on contemporary practice. Her work aims to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction and subsequent message of awareness. Barker’s current photographic projects have been focused on the representation of material debris in the sea and more recently on the mass accumulation of plastic in the world’s oceans. The impact of oceanic plastic is an area Barker has been committed to for the past two years and is continuing to pursue through innovative visual interpretation.
SOUP is a description given to plastic debris suspended in the sea, and with particular reference to the mass accumulation that exists in an area of The North Pacific Ocean known as the Garbage Patch. The sequence reveals a narrative concerning oceanic plastics from initial attraction and attempted ingestion, to the ultimate death of sea creatures and representing the disturbing statistics of dispersed plastics having no boundaries.
All the plastics photographed have been salvaged from beaches around the world and represent a global collection of debris that has existed for varying amounts of time in the world’s oceans.