Altered Ocean highlights plastic pollution in our oceans

Mandy Barker: Altered Ocean

Mandy Barker is raising awareness of plastic pollution in her current exhibition, Altered Ocean.

This powerful Royal Photographic Society exhibition highlights how pollution in the oceans affects marine life and ourselves.

Altered Ocean documents Barker’s visual journey as a photographic artist, combining science with the issue of marine plastic pollution.

Large-scale prints from her series: INDEFINITE, SOUP, SHOAL, Hong Kong Soup 1826, Penalty, and Beyond Drifting, provide an insight into her journey and connection with the issue over the past 10 years.

A view of Altered Ocean at RPS House
Installation shot Altered Ocean by Many Barker © Derryn Vranch

Combining art with science

Throughout the exhibition, supporting sketchbooks and research notes connect the relationship between the practical work and the research informing it.

Plastic and scientific samples allow visitors to engage fully with the critical issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Barker presents the recovered objects with the intention to engage through aesthetics, then shock and disturb through text and information.

This work shows the power of photography to communicate, educate and inform.

Above all, it aims to create awareness, alter human behaviour and ultimately empower change.

Mandy Barker's work shows the impact of plastic on our oceans
Installation shot Altered Ocean by Many Barker © Derryn Vranch

Mandy Barker

Mandy Barker is an international award-winning photographer whose work investigates the issue of marine plastic debris.

Working with scientists she aims to raise awareness and highlight research about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

Her work has been exhibited globally and published in more than 40 different countries.

In 2012 she was awarded the RPS/The Photographic Angle Environmental Awareness Bursary.

This enabled her to sail across the North Pacific Ocean as part of a scientific research expedition to photograph recovered plastic from the tsunami debris field.

In 2019 she will take part in a scientific expedition to one of the remotest locations on the planet to represent groundbreaking research in plastic pollution.

For more information visit

A cabinet of plastic waste in the Altered Ocean exhibition
Installation shot Altered Ocean by Many Barker © Derryn Vranch

Exhibition details

Altered Ocean is on at RPS House, Bristol, until June 23.

The gallery is open Thursday to Sunday. Admission is £7 or free for RPS members and under 18s.

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