In a series both beautiful and terrifying, Mandy Barker shows us the scale, scope, and absurdity of our obsession with plastic, and the way it’s utterly overwhelmed and polluted our oceans. On this Earth Day, it’s both painful but necessary to take stock on how we’re treating the planet, our only home, and ways in which we need to change direction.
Her work is beautiful in composition, found trash items manipulated in Photoshop to appear as they might underwater, swirling and grouping like a plastic school of fish. It’s devastating to think that our once pristine seas and beaches have been infiltrated by massive amounts of plastic waste, polluting our world on a global scale. Aside from sullying views and beaches, the plastic particles ensnare and are eaten by wildlife, causing massive die-offs. Barker showcases some of these scenarios with equal parts documentary eye and ironically named art pieces. Her work is on display at a number of galleries and museums around the world, hopefully opening the eyes and brains of viewers to this monumental problem. Via Colossal:
Earth Day 2018 Note:
Plastic, and plastic waste is a major scourge, and while you might not think individual actions make much difference, collectively they do. So next time you’re out, skip the straws in your drinks. Bring a reusable container. Don’t let grocery stores use plastic bags for your few items. Not only recycle your plastics, but try to use less of them in the first place. Voting with your wallet is a powerful way to influence change.
The aim of my work is to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction along with the subsequent message of awareness. The research process is a vital part of my development as the images I make are based on scientific fact which is essential to the integrity of my work.