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Ocean Pollution Represented by Mandy Barker
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Ocean Pollution Represented by Mandy Barker

UK photographer Mandy Barker developed a series of images entitled ‘soup’ which depicts plastics and discarded items salvaged from beaches around the world.

The title wants to  make reference to the mass accumulation of refuse that exists in the area of the north pacific ocean, also known as the ‘garbage patch’. For each still, individual pieces of plastic are photographed on a black background as well as in combination with other articles of a similar size. Then Mandy Barker overlays these images with one another, illustrating the smallest up to the largest items of trash, creating a feeling of depth and suspension in the final visual.

The sequence of the photographs reveal a narrative which begins with the initial attraction of plastics to sea creatures, their attempted ingestion, ending with their ultimate death represented through ‘soup: ruinous remembrance’. ‘Soup: 500+’ wraps up the collection of photos, a complete contrast to the earlier images, portraying the fatal consequence of ingestion by illustrating a more compact arrangement. It suggests how the plastics would have existed in close proximity to each other when within the stomach of a dead sea creature.

Discarded cigarette lighters make reference to our single-use throw away society. The panda, a national embel of China represents endangered species and faces away from the group symbolising mother nature turning its back on man’s inability to take ownership of its waste.


633 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) recovered from 23 countries and islands within Europe, from 104 different beaches, and by 62 members of the public, in just 4 months.

Ingredients; white marine plastic debris objects collected in two single visits to a nature reserve on the East Coast of England.


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