Money Map of the World, 2013
Inkjet with pearlised screen printing on 330gsm Somerset enhanced paper, hand finished with spot glazing, gold and silver leaf
180 x 110cm
Edition of 10
Courtesy of the artist
From skip diving and living in a squat to casting in bronze, painting in gold leaf, and paying collector’s rates for uncirculated banknotes - British artist Justine Smith has come a long, long way.
Smith is fascinated by the design of banknotes and what they communicate about a country: its politics, history, religion, economy and culture. She cites Libya’s new one dinar note as a prime example: Gaddafi has been replaced with cheering crowds and doves of peace flying from the post-revolutionary flag.
Her works are historical documents and reflect the situation at the time they were made: Money Map of the World illustrates currency unions, new currencies, the prevalence of the US dollar and countries with multiple currencies; her Commonwealth work excludes Fiji, whose membership was suspended at the time.
Smith’s work is in the Government Art Collection and features in designs for brands including Liberty, Nike, Vans and Brora. Recent work includes delicate plant sculptures and striking ivy wallpaper – both fashioned from banknotes, of course.
Hedge, issue 36, August 2015, pp60-68