Beyond Drifting

a personal view on Mandy Barker’s new work

Plamacina retroversta ic. III 
Specimen collected from Cohb shoreline, Cove of Cork, Ireland 
(White plastic horse, 3)
From the book ‘Beyond Drifting, Imperfectly Known Animals’ by Mandy Barker, placed with written permission from the artist.


Accompanying a photograph by Mandy Barker, displayed in her latest book: ‘Beyond Drifting, Imperfectly Known Animals’, which will be published next month. I wrote these words; my impression of Mandy’s work. They do not necessarily coincide with the view she saw when she took this picture, nor are my words an answer to her view. These words are an outline of my experience, my standing in front of her work, and letting her images in.

The door scarred (though) gently slammed, bounced off the shutter. A quick hand had fallen in love with particles, pieces of junk, to others. She touched their skin, their tissue, the surface. A very delicate smoothness that only by decay can be produced. The all consuming gentleness of deterioration. What once had been sharp lined, square, circled exact, neatly folded, attached to last, had now been unlocked; freed from its initial purpose, liberated from the design flaws. Where the teeth of time had eaten their way into the structure of closely arranged molecules, the metamorphosis of microscopic settled inside the once dead material, bringing breath towards the strands and strings of seemingly everlasting chains, free of their former names.

She focused on the existence of these seemingly useless life forms, she and her image ‘capturer’ entrap their two dimensional appearances; replicating their carbon based crystalline polyvalence, stacked icons of an era, as fossilized remnants of the Quinternary, implying a new chapter of the Earth’s timescale. These become monumental storytellers to the generations that will persevere the shaking and shifting archetype.

She depicts a language of the properties beyond the spacial. The grammar of utensils once extruded, characters of life which have become the nugatory of style, disconnected from what once, may have been regarded as pollutive and ignominious, evolves inside this very wellspring of life, into the pulchritude of elegance.


For her book and other pictures; go to

Her blog

Mandy Barker will be signing books at Photo London in May; here you’ll find dates and location:

Note to Jason and Renée; this only a draft, Mandy just agreed on the use of the image. And maybe some more editing is needed. Shoot me where necessary. Hope you’ll find some time.

Cheers Vince

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