ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker
ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker
feb 02, 2012

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker ‘soup: refused’ detail all images © the artist




‘soup’ is a description that is given to the plastic debris that is suspended in the sea. it is a title which makes particular reference to the mass accumulation of refuse that exists in the area of the north pacific ocean, also known as the ‘garbage patch’.  in researching this, UK photographer mandy barker developed a series of images entitled ‘soup’ which depicts these plastics and discarded items salvaged from beaches around the world. the work is a means of representing a global collection of refuse that exists within the earth’s oceans for various amounts of time.

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker ‘soup: refused’ ingredients: plastic oceanic debris affected by the chewing and attempted ingestion by animals, including a toothpaste tube additives: teeth from animals




for each still, individual pieces of plastic are photographed on a black background as well as in combination with other articles of a similar size. barker then overlays these images with one another, illustrating the smallest up to the largest items of trash, creating a feeling of depth and suspension in the final visual. the sequence of the photographs reveal a narrative which begins with the initial attraction of plastics to sea creatures, their attempted ingestion, ending with their ultimate death represented through ‘soup: ruinous remembrance’. ‘soup: 500+’ wraps up the collection of photos, a complete contrast to the earlier images, portraying the fatal consequence of ingestion by illustrating a more compact arrangement. it suggests how the plastics would have existed in close proximity to each other when within the stomach of a dead sea creature.

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker ‘soup: turtle’ ingredients: plastic turtles that have circled and existed in the north pacific gyre for 16 years additives: ducks, beavers and frogs

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker ‘soup: tomato’ ingredients: red plastic debris

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker ‘soup: translucent’ ingredients: translucent plastic debris

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker ‘soup: bird’s nest’ ingredients: discarded fishing line that have formed nest-like balls due to tidal and oceanic movement additives: other debris collected in its path

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker ‘soup: ruinous remembrance’ ingredients; plastic flowers, leaves, stems and fishing line additives: bones, skulls, feathers and fish

ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker ‘soup: 500+’ ingredients: representing more than 500 pieces of plastic debris found in the digestive tract of a dead albatross chick in the north pacific gyre

  • i like

    Darija SH
  • Washed Up is series on the same theme by the Mexican photographer Alejandro Duran: http://www.washed-up-project.com

    Sara Sheth
  • Beautiful – junk 2 art.

    Tragic – this like all waste is totally preventable. http://bit.ly/3rdswitch

    james greyson
  • Love that work, but again the bottom is too much like steve mcphersons? still good.

  • Bottom one looks just like the artist Steve Mcphersons from 2010, look here


    Bob George
  • This is amazing, even though it is trash it looks awesome…. Would love to have the prints. whre can I get them?

  • This is beautiful work! I wrote an article on plastic pollution in the worlds oceans recently on my blog http://ecoprimate.wordpress.com/ keep up the great work!


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