Mandy Barker's Stunning Soup Photos Shows Sea Trash In New Light
- 09 April 2012
- Maryruth Belsey Priebe
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© Mandy Barker - "Turtle" - Ingredients: plastic turtles that have circled and existed in The North Pacific gyre for 16 years. Additives: ducks, beavers and frogs.
UK photographer, Mandy Barker, recently ventured into an experiment to create what she has called “Soup” to visually represent the watery dance of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean. The result is a collection of stunning visual examples of just how mesmerizing and pervasive this plastic pollution really is ...
According to Mandy Barker ...
"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 series of images aim to engage with, and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction and social awareness. 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.
The captions record the plastic ingredients in each image providing the viewer with the realisation and facts of what exists in the sea."
Also dubbed the Plastic Island, the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is a now one of 5 such garbage patches in the major oceans of our planet. Yes, there are actually (5) such garbage patches ... (2) of 'em in the Pacific Ocean; (2) in the Atlantic Ocean; and (1) in the Indian Ocean.
This collection of seaborne plastic waste that threatens birds and marine creatures alike with smothering and choking hazards. As the plastics break down, they also release toxins like bisphenol-A and oligomers (from polystyrene) – chemicals that mess with the reproductive system of sea creatures.
© Mandy Barker - "Translucent" - Ingredients: translucent plastic debris.
Mandy Barker created these amazing photographs by arranging beach debris she’d collected over a period of time in the UK and other European countries. As Barker explained in an interview for London Independent Photography,
"My intention aesthetically was to visually attract the viewer to the image and for them to question what it represented.”
Mission accomplished. See the rest of the shots below ...
© Mandy Barker - "Alphabet" - Ingredients: plastic debris that includes surface text.
© Mandy Barker - "Burnt" - Ingredients: all plastics partially burnt.
© Mandy Barker - "Nurdles" - Ingredients: six layers of nurdles (raw pellets of plastic before manufacture) collected from six different beaches.
© Mandy Barker - "Bird's Nest" - Ingredients: discarded fishing line that have formed nest-like balls due to tidal and oceanic movement. Additives: other debris collected in its path.
© Mandy Barker - "Fragmented Cups" - Ingredients: used plastic cups.
© Mandy Barker - "Tomato" - Ingredients: red plastic debris.
© Mandy Barker - "Refused" - Ingredients: plastic oceanic debris affected by the chewing and attempted injestion by animals. Includes a toothpaste tube. Additives: teeth from animals.
© Mandy Barker - "Ruinous Remembrance" - Ingredients: plastic flowers, leaves, stems and fishing line. Additives: bones, skulls, feathers and fish.
© Mandy Barker - "500+" - Ingredients: representing more than 500 pieces of plastic debris found in the digestive tract of a dead albatross chick in the North Pacific Gyre.
For more information on Mandy Barker's work, go here.