Mandy Barker works closely with scientists to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
Her passion for highlighting the harmful affect of plastic pollution on marine life takes her on voyages all over the world.
In 2012, Barker joined a research expedition which sailed from Japan to Hawaii to examine the accumulation of marine plastic debris in the tsumani debris field in the Pacific Ocean.
In June 2017 she was invited to join Greenpeace on the Beluga II Expedition which sailed around the remote and unique island locations of the Inner Hebrides, Scotland, to recover plastic debris.
Barker’s most recent voyage led her to one of the most remote parts of the world, Henderson Island, which sits 5000km from the nearest landmass. In June 2019, she visited the island with scientists, filmmakers, a clean up crew, journalists and divers. Despite being so far away from human contact, one of the island’s beach was found by scientists to be the most densely plastic polluted beaches on the planet.
Barker’s projects are then developed through collating ideas and concepts in sketchbooks. The sketchbooks give an insight into the creative process Barker undertakes to produce her work.
This photograph shows 769 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) collected from 41 countries and islands around the world, from 144 different beaches and by 89 members of the public in just 4 months.
Barker aims to create awareness about the issue of marine pollution by focusing attention on the football as a single plastic object and global symbol that could reach an international audience.