As an artist I like my artworks to tell stories and I often use discarded materials. I have been collecting old beer cans from the streets around my studio for a few years, knowing that one day I would make an artwork from them.

During the political turmoil in my country over the last few months there has been much discussion about Britain’s heritage and Glory. The Elizabethan era is often depicted as the golden age in English history and so I decided to make a portrait of Elizabeth 1st. I made her from beer cans as it seems that Royal portraits are so far removed from the reality of life on the streets.

First of all I collected the beer cans. After flattening them, I sewed them together on my sewing machine to make a patchwork canvas. The portrait of queen Elizabeth was then punched into the cans using a hammer and roundel. The portrait is the size of a gigantic satellite dish !

Virgin Queen made from beer cans

Here’s a close up of the patchwork beer cans

Next I made King Charles II from ‘London Pride’ beer cans.

You can see the sewing and hammering detail in this picture

Marie Antoinette from alcopop cans

Here’ s the close up ! Back to the studio to make Queen Victoria !