Photography as a means of warning
If photography is used to immortalize a moment that will then be in the past, then there is nothing stopping artist Mandy Barker from using photography to represent the future! Which, does not look pleasant, by the way. Her photographs of plastic debris floating in the air could be the fate of our oceans in a few years. The approach is clear, that of a photographer committed to ecology well decided to sensitize the population to the problem of the pollution of the oceans by plastic. Through her work, she hopes to create emotion by placing the public in the face of a contradiction between the aesthetics of her compositions and the pessimism of her message.
Plastic, the plague of the ocean
Of the 220 million tons of plastics produced each year, 6.5 million are dumped into the oceans. Plastic waste is eroded by water and eventually becomes micro-particles ingested by marine life, which mind you accelerates their disappearance. The areas in which the plastic is present, there is less oxygen, so much so that life is impossible. These areas are called dead zones, there are about 500 in the world today, forming a total area of 245 000 km², about the size of the United Kingdom, Mandy Barker's home country.
A Symbol and Clear Message
The engaged photographer has been accompanying scientists and environmental associations that have been roaming the oceans for years trying to quantify the presence of plastics that pollute the planet and trying to alert the world population to the extent of the problem. She brings huge quantities of floating waste from these shipments and uses them for her photographs. For her work, she collected 769 soccer balls recovered from the ocean in just 4 months in 41 different countries. By photographing the balls one by one and imitating flotation in the water by Photoshop retouching, she managed to recreate huge swirls balls bringing out a multitude of colors in the darkness of its frames. Her work was published in the midst of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The ball is a symbol of ocean pollution for Mandy Barker. It's indeed one of the most present objects in the waters of the world. The spherical shape can also give it a metaphor role of the blue planet in agony in the near future and place where humans face their responsibilities.
It's necessary that humans succeed in better managing their plastic waste treatments and that they manage to reduce the abandoned quantity of this material in the water. Another factor in the pollution of the oceans by plastic is natural disasters, the latest being the devastating Tsunami in Japan in 2011. For another of her works, the British artist set out in search of the debris swept away by the huge wave. She found them, photographed them and this time made a series of photographs as a hommage for the victims of the Tsunami. Floating debris in the pictures show traces of the lives lost during the disaster. The ecological approach is still taken into account since some photographs give the appearance of schools of fish to plastic debris, while they are the main victims of pollution of the ocean.
Photo Credits : Mandy Barker