• Altered Ocean by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker
  • Altered Ocean book by Mandy Barker

Altered Ocean
Mandy Barker


A comprehensive catalogue of Mandy Barker's photographic works exposing the crisis of plastic pollution in the world's oceans. This in-depth survey features series made over the past ten years, released to coincide with solo exhibitions in 2019 and including works from INDEFINITE, SOUP, SHOAL, PENALTY, Hong Kong Soup:1826 and Beyond Drifting. Numerous reproductions from Mandy's sketchbooks offer a behind the scenes look into her thought process during project development.

FIRST EDITION Hardcover, 19.5 x 27cm, 144 pages
Section-sewn binding; linen-wrapped cover with image tip-on + foil deboss; printed jacket
85 colour photographs + 32 sketchbook illustrations
Introduction by Professor Richard Thompson OBE, marine scientist
Publication May 2019 | ISBN: 9781999446802


Concerned with the effects of marine plastic debris, Barker’s photographic work has reached worldwide audiences through international exhibitions, educational outreach, media reports and other means. Her aim is to expand public awareness of the environmental crisis by using aesthetically attractive visuals to communicate evolving scientific research.

This publication is introduced by Professor Richard Thompson OBE, a renowned marine scientist and Director of the University of Plymouth’s Marine Institute. His work has contributed to legislation on microbeads in cosmetics and other forms of plastic pollution.

Other texts include a foreword by Mandy Barker and an essay, Picturing Plastic Oceans, by Liz Wells, Professor in Photographic Culture at University of Plymouth. Barker also provides insight into the making of her images through an extensive survey of her personal process sketchbooks.

Her first photobook, Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals was recognised by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the Top 10 of 2017, and received widespread attention for its subject matter and design.

Editing and design by Tiffany Jones

The Author

Based in England, UK, Mandy Barker is an international award winning photographer whose work involving marine plastic debris has received global recognition. Her series Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals was shortlisted for the 2017 Prix Pictet, the global award in photography and sustainability, and the publication nominated for the 2018 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize.

Barker’s work has been published widely including in TIME, National Geographic, Wired, The Financial Times, The Guardian, VICE, Smithsonian, and in numerous photographic publications. She has exhibited worldwide including at The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Photographers Gallery and Somerset House in London, United Nations Headquarters and The Aperture Foundation in New York, and The Science and Technology Park in Hong Kong. She was awarded the LensCulture Earth Award in 2015 and The Royal Photographic Society’s Environmental Bursary in 2012 which enabled her to join scientists for a research expedition in the tsunami debris field in the Pacific Ocean. In 2018 she received the National Geographic Society Grant for Research and Exploration.


Reviews + Press

“Dedicating her work to raise awareness and activism about the global crisis of ocean debris, Barker combines engaging and shocking photographs, sketches, and scientific research to produce some of the most urgently consequential contemporary art of this century.” – Photoeye, June 2019

Interview with Rife Magazine
Cover + Feature in The RPS Journal, Volume 159/April 2019, “Ocean Colour Scene”

Selected pre-release
National Geographic Kids Magazine, ‘The BIG Picture’, ‘PENALTY-The World’, September 2018
National Geographic Magazine, June 2018 (p72-79)
Lufthansa in-flight magazine, front cover, June 2018
FOAM Magazine 50th Issue, May 2018 (p133-146)
The British Journal of Photography, ‘Breaking Point’, May 2018
The UNESCO Courier – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Magazine, May 2018
The New Scientist, front cover & Aperture feature, May 2018
Financial Times Magazine, ‘The Problem with Plastic’ by Clive Cookson, 27/28 January 2018

Special Notes

* Selected for Athens Photo Festival 2019 Photobook Exhibition at Benaki Museum 13 June – 28 July 2019
* Bestseller at Photobookstore April/May 2019
* Bestseller at Photo-eye, June/July 2019

Exhibitions in 2019

The Royal Photographic Society RPS House – opening solo exhibition at the new gallery, Bristol UK (5th April – 23 June)
In conversation with Professor Richard Thompson OBE, Friday 6th April, The RPS House, Bristol
Complesso monumentale Santa Maria della Vita, Bologna, Italy (12 April – 22 September)
Fotografiska Stockholm opening on World Oceans Day (8 June – 25 August)
Impressions Gallery of Photography, Bradford, UK (27 June – 21 September) opening & talk Saturday 13th July, 3-5pm

National Geographic Festival of Sciences, Rome, Italy – Invention – (8 – 14 April) Festival talk Thursday 11 April
Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia (23 August – 20 October)
Porto Biennale 2019, The Portuguese Centre of Photography, Porto, Portugal (from 15 May)
‘Football is Art’ National Football Museum, Manchester UK(4 April – 27 October)
‘Civilisation: The Way We Live Now’ UCCA Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (9 March – 19 May)
XXII Triennale di Milano, ‘Broken Nature: Design Takes On Human Survival’, Milano, Italy (1 March – 1 September)
Museu Vida Rural, Carulla Foundation, Espluga de Francoli, Catalonia, Spain (16 February – 20 October)
‘Peer to Peer’, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool UK (17 October – 22 December)

Altered Ocean is held in the following collections:
The British Library (UK)
The National Art Library at the V&A (London, UK)
École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie (Arles, FR)
ETH-Bibliothek (Zurich, CH)
Grace Doherty Library, Centre College (Danville, KY)
Hellenic Centre for Photography (Athens, GR)
Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, GA)
John M Flaxman Library, School of The Art Institute of Chicago (USA)
University of Miami Richter Library (USA)