Penalty aims to create awareness about the issue of marine pollution by focusing attention on the football as a global symbol. After a call-out via social media, 992 marine debris balls were recovered from the world’s oceans in four months, from 41 different countries and 144 different beaches, by 89 people.

The recovered footballs have been incorporated into a series of four images, each showing the mass accumulation within areas of the world. The diverse scale of these collections show both one person’s determination to portray the problem of ocean debris at an individual level, while 89 members of the public around the world helped represent the issue on a global scale.
In addition to the four images, 32 single marine debris footballs were selected from different countries and photographed individually to represent a timeline from their predicted age, as estimated by the printed titles and names that appear on each ball.

The series title has a double meaning: a penalty is a punishment for breaking a rule in the game of football, and a penalty is the price we will all pay if we do not look after our oceans by managing the over-consumption of plastic.

Mandy Barker is an award-winning photographer nominated for the Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize in 2018 and the Magnum Foundation Fund. Her work has been published in over 40 countries in publications including National Geographic, Time, The Guardian, Smithsonian and New Scientist, and she regularly takes part in interviews with the BBC, ITV, Greenpeace, Vice and CNN. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, and in 2019 she will have solo exhibitions at Fotografiska, Stockholm, Tallinn and London. Working with scientists, Barker is dedicated to raising awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans to highlight current research of the detrimental effects on marine life and ultimately ourselves. In 2012, she was awarded?The?Royal Photographic Society’s Environmental Bursary, allowing her to take part in a scientific research voyage that sailed in a yacht from Japan to Hawaii across the North Pacific Ocean. Barker is a recipient of the 2018 National Geographic Society Grant for Research and Exploration, and this year will take part in scientific expeditions to unique and remote locations around the world to continue to represent groundbreaking research of the plastic pollution issue.

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Mandy Barker / Penalty
  • August 24, 2019 - October 20, 2019
    8:00 am - 5:00 pm