Compelling work by acclaimed artist Mandy Barker, which highlights the global threat posed by marine plastic pollution, goes on show at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries.
Our Plastic Ocean, showcases powerful images of debris collected by the photographer from shorelines across the world.
Barker’s images are, at first glance, reminiscent of sea creatures and corals suspended in a dark void beneath the sea, but closer inspection reveals a more disturbing reality.
The artist instead highlights the incongruous plastic items now ubiquitous in our seas – carefully curated footballs, fishing nets, cotton-buds and coffee-cup lids among them.
Eight million tonnes of plastic currently end up in the world’s oceans every year and if these trends continue, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050, the artist says.
Mandy Barker has followed a trail of plastic pollution across the globe – accompanying scientists on an expedition from Hawaii to Japan; tracing the debris of the 2011 Tsunami; and sailing on board Greenpeace’s Beluga II to the Inner Hebrides.
Our Plastic Ocean spans a decade of Barker’s work, and includes the series, Soup – meticulously detailed composite images of discarded plastic objects.
It also features Albatross, which reveals 276 pieces of plastic found inside the stomach of a 90-day-old albatross chick; and Beyond Drifting, which sees Barker trace the footsteps of 19th century botanist John Vaughan Thompson.
The exhibition showcases notebooks documenting Barker’s voyages and research; a case of sand permeated with microplastics recovered from a Hawaiian beach; and an installation of suspended footballs, crowdsourced from around the globe for her 2014 World Cup project, Penalty.
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