Statement: The SOUP series aims to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction, with an awareness of the disturbing statistics that dispersed plastics have no boundaries, having a harmful affect on marine life and the biodiversity of the planet.
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 first ten images represent the mass accumulation of plastic that exists in the North Pacific Gyre with plastic recovered from the UK, Europe and Alaska. The remaining ten images highlight the waste issue in Hong Kong with plastic debris collected from over 30 different beaches in Hong Kong over three years. This on-going body of work aims to stimulate a response and create an awareness to encourage social responsibility.
Mandy Barker (b.1964 UK) graduated from MA Photography at De Montfort University in 2011. Her work involving marine plastic debris has received global recognition and has been published in over 25 countries. Barker has exhibited internationally including Syngenta Photography Award Exhibition 2015 and at FotoFest 2016 Biennale. In 2012 she was awarded the Royal Photographic Society Environmental Bursary to cross the Pacific Ocean and has since received numerous awards including winner of the LensCulture Earth Award 2015 and the International Photography Award (IPA) winner 2014. She has also been nominated several times for the prestigious Prix Pictet Award.