Author: Charlotte Bearn

Justine Smith - Turning Money into Art

With two amazing new prints "Time is Money" and "Judgement" just released we thought we would take an in depth look at the work of artist Justine Smith.

Justine Smith creates her original sculptures and collages from actual bank notes, using them to explore our relationship with money and the power and ideas it can represent. Her two new limited edition prints both continue to explore these topics.

"Time is Money" is a world map divided into international time zones and incorporates sections of banknotes from every country in the world. It is a giclee print with pearlised silkscreen screen detail on the areas of sea creating a beautiful iridescent effect. It is more or less the same size as Justine’s original collage and is a signed edition of 90.

"Judgement" is an embossed giclee print based on one of Justine’s gun sculptures, and is also a signed edition of 90.

One of the prints of "Time is Money" has been acquired from Justine for the national collection at The British Library. Other collections that hold her works include the British Government Art Collection. It was from this collection that Gordon Brown and chose Justine’s Euro image to adorn one of the walls of 10 Downing Street during his tenure as Prime Minister.

Justine is fascinated by the way bank notes reflect the society that makes them. For example in the things they chose to celebrate in the images on their bank notes like national heritage, wildlife, industry or glorifying their leaders.

Justine has worked with collage and pre-printed paper, including comics, since graduating from the City and Guilds of the London Art School in 1993. She was then inspired by the different bank notes her boyfriend bought home from travelling for work and began using money for her sculptures.

The cost of creating one of her originals can be quite high as Justine uses uncirculated money which she gets through a currency dealer. This can mean she will pay more than the than face value for the notes depending on how rare the note is, so a five pound note may cost ten pounds. Despite this cost her originals and limited editions continue to be popular and we hope to see allot more from Justine in 2012.

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