Mandy Barker (UK, 1964) studied MA Photography at De Montfort University, England. She has received international recognition for her work involving marine plastic debris with her ongoing series, SOUP, having been published in over 25 countries including, TIME, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian, for Greenpeace and on CNN. The motivation for her work is to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans while highlighting its harmful affect on marine life and ultimately ourselves.
Barker’s work has featured in group exhibitions worldwide including The Photographer’s Gallery, London, The Aperture Foundation, New York, and The Science and Technology Park, Hong Kong. Her work was part of the exhibition, GYRE, at The Anchorage Museum, Alaska, that went on to tour across the United States. Her work has also been exhibited as part of the Syngenta Photography Award Exhibition 2015, FotoFest 2016 Biennale – Changing Circumstances: Looking at the Future of the Planet, Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF) and Noorderlicht 2016 Photofestival ARENA, Museum Belvedere, The Netherlands. She will be exhibiting at UNSEEN Amsterdam where she has been nominated for the Meijburg Art Commission 2016. Barker has received many awards including as a winner of the LensCulture Earth Award 2015 and winner of the International Photography Award (IPA) 2014 in the Environmental Professional category.
In 2012 she was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Environmental bursary enabling her to join scientists in a research expedition to photograph the accumulation of marine plastic debris in the tsunami debris field in the Pacific Ocean. The trip which sailed from Japan to Hawaii allowed her to create the series SHOAL, which was selected for Critical Mass Top 50 2014.
Barker engages the issue through photography, invited as a guest speaker to the Plastic Free Seas youth conference 2013, Hong Kong, and more recently as part of the Marfa Dialogues discussions at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas. She has contributed to many book publications and articles, including CNN International, concerning arts relationship with the environment. She was interviewed for ‘Connect the World’ on CNN News US, for her series PENALTY during the time of the FIFA World Cup 2014, and her work was featured for Earth Day 2012 on TIME’s ‘LightBox’, and also on National Geographic’s ‘Proof’ for Earth Day 2016.