The Ocean Soup

February 23rd, 2012 | Space

Floating along, hidden beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean, you will find the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of ocean trash measuring about twice the size of France.  The term “Soup” is given to the plastic debris that is suspended in the sea.  Mandy Barker, a photographer from the UK, created this series of collages to represent the global collection of refuse that exists within Earth’s oceans.

Here is a description of her work:

SOUP is a description given to plastic debris suspended in the sea, and with particular reference to the mass accumulation that exists in an area of The North Pacific Ocean known as the Garbage Patch.

The series of images aim to engage with, and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction and social awareness. The sequence reveals a narrative concerning oceanic plastics from initial attraction and attempted ingestion, to the ultimate death of sea creatures and representing the disturbing statistics of dispersed plastics having no boundaries.

All the plastics photographed have been salvaged from beaches around the world and represent a global collection of debris that has existed for varying amounts of time in the world’s oceans.

These collages are both eerie and beautiful.  It’s as if humans have given birth to some mysterious form of life deep in the ocean waters.  Or maybe, these are photographs from the depths of space — from some newly found galaxy.  But alas, no, we are ultimately only destroying marine environments a little bit more every day… and Barker’s images are a disturbing reminder — but they are certainly an aesthetically pleasing reminder.


[via NPR]

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