UK-based artist Jane Perkins worked for 17 years as a nurse and spent another 10 years as a stay at home mom. She took a degree in textiles at Somerset College of Arts and Technology, graduating with a First in 2006. During the course, she particularly enjoyed the recycling projects and made recycling the focus of her final year. Although her background is in textiles, she now works predominantly with plastic.
The collage idea came to her while making brooches. Jane Perkins had collected lots of materials which were too big to be used. The idea of making them into a portrait just came into her head and she started by copying a famous Matisse portrait.
Re-interpreting work by previous artists is nothing new. But what sets Jane Perkins apart is the materials she uses in creating her masterpieces. Her “art suppliers” are charity shops, boot sales and recycling centers. She also gets donations of materials from friends and neighbors.
In 2010, she started making her Plastic Classics series, re-interpreting famous artworks using this technique. Jane Perkins uses any materials she can find of the right size and shape; plastic toys, beads, buttons, shells, anything you can think about. No color is added – all materials are used exactly as found.
After deciding on what image she is going to create, Jane Perkins starts looking for items to match the colors she needs. She then uses a glue gun initially, so that she can pull things off and move them. When she’s happy with the final result, the artist paints the whole work with a layer of diluted PVA glue. She usually works on a piece over about 3 weeks.