the currency of art {justine smith}…

i’ve been busy today working my way through mounds of washing & packing for my flight home tomorrow…

& as i was going through my pre-trip mantra {keys, passport, money} it became quickly apparent that i had everything on my list, except the latter…

not a single aussie dollar to be found amongst my stash of foreign notes which seems to grow year-on-year {just not in value!}…

& just as i was pondering what to do with all this pretty paper, the universe spoke to me via a well-timed email about an exhibition of “extraordinary artworks made from ordinary currency”…

thank you universe…

the ‘love me tender’ exhibition {at the bellevue arts museum in washington} features various artists whose work is inspired by the symbolism & power of money…

& right alongside the works of banksy & jsg boggs is that of local london lass justine smith

justine smith_butterflies

justine is an artist whose work i’ve long admired ever since her cutout butterfly pieces were featured in livingetc back in the day {circa 2006}…

& whilst paper has always been central to her art, justine’s current work is focussed around cold, hard cash & how it permeates our lives…

“through her collages, prints and sculptures she examines our relationship with money in a political, moral and social sense, whilst also exploiting the physical beauty of the notes”

justine smith_flowers

you may well have already seen justine’s elaborate floral sculptures before…

they truly are stunning…

justine smith_weapons of war

or her powerful portrayal of currency as an instrument of war & a conduit of power…

clever, clever, clever…

justine smith_house of cards

but you may not be familiar with her latest work, “house of cards” which forms the centre peice of yet another exhibition, “bubbles and bankruptcy: financial crises in britain since 1700” currently on display at the british museum

justine’s beautiful & poignant work certainly makes me look at my humble stash of cash with fresh eyes…

{p.s. justine’s prints will also be on show at the affordable art fair being held at battersea from march 7th to 10th, 2013}

images via: justine smith

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