Brought up on the East coast of Great Britain, Mandy Barker has dedicated the last decade to photographing marine plastic debris collected from around the world. Her work has been published internationally and has also illustrated academic research papers on sea plastic pollution. She has taken part in several scientific expeditions to document the phenomenon and values the collaboration with scientists and a thorough research process as central elements in her practice to ensure the accuracy of her work.
By creating deceptively visually attractive images she aims at drawing viewers in, in order to shock them with the realization of what the images really represent: plastic polluting our oceans. In her photographic series "SOUP" she recovers marine plastic debris from different parts of the world, aiming to engage with the public by "stimulating an emotional response, combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction with an awareness to encourage social responsibility."