Mandy Barker

Mandy Barker is a British photographic artist who has gained global recognition for her work involving marine plastic debris.  She researches by reading research journals and by attending international conferences as well as working directly with the world’s leading scientists who are studying the problem first hand. She has recovered plastic items from single-use objects, to hazardous medical waste, and everything in between, from oceans and beaches all over the world. 

Over 400 million tons of plastic are produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications. At least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, and plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.

Her striking photographs initially resemble beautiful undersea creatures or scenes teeming with animal and plant life, but on closer inspection, they actually show plastic waste such as carrier bags, fishing rope, and children’s toys, mimicking the very marine life forms they are killing.

Mandy’s’s work aims to stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction and social awareness. She has created detailed composite images of discarded plastic objects recovered around the world in her series “Our Plastic Ocean