A collection of her portraits of British scientists is held by the Royal Society and was shown in part in a display at the National Portrait Gallery, including portraits of Sir Alec Jeffreys, Lord Darzi, Sir Martin Evans, Sir Tim Hunt and Dame Louise Johnson.
Between 2008 and 2011 she compiled a photographic record of the restoration of the Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey; England's only gallery devoted to the work of a single artist. It houses sculpture and paintings by the Victorian George Frederic Watts.
Her early work includes a large number of photographs of her childhood and youth in the GDR (East Germany).
Works in public collection
There are over 100 photographic portraits by Purkiss in the National Portrait Gallery collection including portraits of Dennis Thatcher, Enoch Powell, Simon Rattle and Georg Solti. Further images are in the collections of the Library of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Society in London, the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, and the Arts Council Archive.
Local Faces (2001) Orleans House Gallery (with introductions by Bamber Gascoigne and Terence Pepper) ISBN 1-902643-03-8
Sculptors 1986-2007 (2007) Orleans House Gallery ISBN 978-1-4276-2471-0 (with an introduction by Victoria Worsley, Henry Moore Institute)
Images of the GDR akg-images (Berlin–London–Paris) (2009) ISBN 978-1-4276-4085-7
Illustrations to publications
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (current edition)
Poland – European Tiger, Euromoney Books 1993 ISBN 1-85564-331-6
Finland – A Coming of Age, Euromoney Books, 1996 ISBN 1-85564-437-1
The lost Palace of Whitehall, RIBA, 1998 ISBN 1-872911-90-0
Postman’s Park: G.F.Watts Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice Watts Gallery, 2008 ISBN 978-0-9561022-1-8
Watts Chapel: A Guide to the Symbols of Mary Watts's Arts and Crafts Masterpiece, Philip Wilson Publishers, 2010, ISBN 978-0-85667-692-5
An Artists’ Village, Philip Wilson Publishers, 2011, ISBN 978-0-85667-696-3
Paolo Cavinato – Constellation, Royal British Society of Sculptors, 2011 ISBN 978-0-9521592-5-4
Portraits of Purkiss