According to estimates, more than eight million tonnes of plastics are dumped into our oceans every year. Everything from clothes and bags to furniture and toys end up in the water, with heavier plastics sinking to the bottom while the rest float on the surface. Some of this plastic waste is carried by currents to add to a large mass forming in the Pacific Ocean. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, this huge amount of suspended plastic covers an area greater than three times the size of France and sits between Hawaii and California.
Plastic waste washing up on beaches around the world is a familiar sight to anyone who’s ever walked along the water’s edge, but the threat posed by plastic is so much greater than that seen by the naked eye. The accumulated impact of microplastic particles finding their way into the planet’s food chains is not yet known.
My role is a kind of interpreter, one with facts and insight into just how dangerous the plastics found in the sea are and with the ability to present this knowledge in an easily accessible form. The more I learn from research, the more determined I become to work to create awareness that change is necessary, says Barker.
Barker is a unique photographer and activist, thanks to her artistry and collaboration with not only marine biologists on expeditions, but also the general public and various environmental organisations. Together they are striving to draw attention to this natural disaster affecting us all.
The exhibition features 47 works from 6 different series.