Artist Biography - Joanne Tinker

Joanne Tinker, Born in Nottingham (1969) but raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and then later Leeds. True to her family name – Tinker – Joanne trained to work with metal, earning a first class degree in Silversmithing and Jewellery from Birmingham in 1992.

Tinker grew tired of working with traditional silver and gold, and turned her attention to experimenting with fo
...und objects - the saturated colours of soft drink cans, separated into strips and transformed into garments or jewellery.

Joanne’s work is heavily influenced by the concept of recycling; transforming metal bottle tops, acupuncture tubes, confectionary wrapping, and aluminium cans into something precious, something special. Tinker's interest in re-using thrown away objects is a contemporary concept, in line with todays environmental concerns.

The use of chocolate foil wrappings remains a constant in her work – not because of my love of chocolate – but rather her wholehearted appreciation of the material’s colour, texture, delicacy and strength. Simply, she unwraps one form and recreates another. And then repeat. And repeat.

As many collections are categorised by forms of repetition, so her collections are characterised by the replication of multiples and miniatures, blending her childhood fascinations with deliberated uniformity.

Tinker is now a well recognised contemporary artist - her recycled garments and accessories appeared in Dennis Potter's 1996 television series 'Cold Lazarus'. Now, they are on permanent display at the Science Museum, beside work from Vivian Westwood.

As of late, her artwork has appeared globally at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, at the New York Museum of Art and Design, and in the White Rabbit Collection in Sydney.

“I love working with throwaway material. I started by making jewellery from tin cans and plastic tubing and had a stall in the Corn Exchange in Leeds before I moved to London. My big breakthrough was in 2007 when I started making work you could put on the wall and my goblets piece was accepted by the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition,” - Interview with Yorkshire Post

Tinker's latest artwork is inspired by her craft background. The artist has transformed an extraordinary collection of objects - from crayons and biros, to bottle tops and matches - to give each object purpose. Her artwork is always vibrant, fun and daring. Her sculptural work continues to be highly unique and collectable, making the most out of unwanted materials. Tinker has left Southwest London to live in Yorkshire, taking peace in the rural landscape.
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