Enough plastic has been manufactured since the end of the Second World War to cover the entire earth in cling film. There is no part of our planet free from plastic debris. It is estimated that the total amount of plastic produced since 1950 is over 5 billion tonnes...
Enough plastic has been manufactured since the end of the Second World War to cover the entire earth in cling film. There is no part of our planet free from plastic debris. It is estimated that the total amount of plastic produced since 1950 is over 5 billion tonnes (close to the weight of the entire human population of the planet) and is very likely to reach 30 billion by the end of the century.
Mandy Barker is an award-winning photographer, based in the United Kingdom, whose has received global recognition for her artistic practice involving marine plastic debris. The motivation behind her photography is to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, whilst highlighting the harmful affect on marine life and ultimately the human race.
Two art projects by Mandy Barker will be presented during Fotofestiwal – Beyond Drifting: imperfectly known animals and Soup.
In 2002 Mandy was awarded the Royal Photographic Society’s Environmental bursary, which enabled her to join scientists in a research expedition to examine the accumulation of marine plastic debris in the tsunami debris field in the Pacific Ocean. She sailed from Japan to Hawaii, following the journey of the plastic waste garbage patch across the ocean, resulting in her series SHOAL and SOUP.
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 draws the viewer in with beauty and then shocks with facts about the reality about danger plastic pollution presents in our seas and coastlines. All plastics photographed for the series 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.
In 2017 Mandy was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet – the global award in photography and sustainability – SPACE, for her most recent work “Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals”, made while on residency in County Cork Ireland. In this series Mandy revisits the scientific work of John Vaughn Thompson, who studied plankton species in Cork Harbour during the 1800’s. The plankton Vaughn Thompson studied are now found to be ingesting micro plastic particles, which mankind has been dumping into the sea for as long as plastic has been manufactured.
If plastic is at the plankton level and microscopically in our water, then traces are in everything we consume. Mandy Barker’s photographs allow audiences to comprehend the depth to which plastic has infiltrated our lives in an incredibly short period of time. Mandy’s message is of vital importance and one that should be viewed globally to assist in promoting responsible actions towards the environment.
Exhibition opening: 19:00, 21.06.2018
Place: Art_Inkubator / Building C1 / Galeria Fabryki Sztuki / Tymienieckiego 3 Street