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Artist crafts pictures of famous faces from recycled materials

Jane Perkins uses recycled items to re-create famous paintings. Picture: Jane Perkins

UK artist Jane Perkins uses objects from buttons, beads and toys to shells and jewellery to create eye-catching images of the likes of Einstein, Princess Diana and the Mona Lisa. 

She makes pictures without paint, using small objects placed close together to provide colour and form an image. Jane creates the faces of well-known people as well as re-creating famous paintings with a contemporary twist.

She told that her aim is to make people smile: “I want my work to be fun and accessible – there is no deep or hidden meaning. I like art with humour or an element of the unexpected. 

The Queen and the Mona Lisa made by Jane from recycled items. Picture: Jane Perkins

“I am shocked by the ready availability of mountains of unwanted toys and other goods in our throwaway Western society but my aim in using recycled materials is for the effect they create, not as an ‘eco-warrior’.”

Jane painstakingly sifts through bags of unwanted goods or jewellery, searching through to find items of exactly the right colour. She said Einstein was “great fun to make – the mad hair is full of toys” and enjoyed capturing the expression of innocence from the original painting of Girl with a Pearl Earring.

“The colours of the headscarf in this painting are so beautiful. I never tire of looking at it.”

And on her recreation of The Afghan Girl – the famous 1985 National Geographic cover of Sharbat Gula – she said: “It was so important to get the accusing eyes correct, or the whole portrait would have been meaningless.”

Einstein and 'The Afghan Girl' recreated in recycled items. Picture: Jane Perkins

What inspires her to create these works?

“This may sound obvious but I have always been inspired by Picasso who tried so many different media,” explained Jane.

“If he had an idea, no matter how quirky, he just had to ‘go for it’. I love his sculptures from found objects, particularly Head of a Bull, made from a bicycle saddle and handlebars. I love all kinds of art, and greatly admire those who can paint.”

By Lucy

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