British Artist Makes a Powerful Statement With the Use of Worldwide Currency As Her Primary Medium

Rise and Fall Mushroom

In several of her wonderful sculptural series, British artist Justine Smith has made strong use of different currency from all around the world in order to create multi-faceted art that carries a powerful statement. Whether it’s guns wrapped in U.S. dollar bills, grenades wrapped in Iranian rials or delicate flowers under glass fashioned from English pound notes, the medium becomes as much the message as the message itself.

Paper has always been a primary material in the work of Justine Smith. Her current work is concerned with the concept of money and how it touches almost every aspect of our lives. She is interested in money as a conduit of power and also in the value systems with which we surround it. On a physical level a banknote is just a piece of paper, but it is what a banknote actually represents that is central to Smith’s work. 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.

Snowdrop Blossom Detail

wild poppy anemone nemorosa

inheritance Iran

the Judge Absolute Power

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.