I am captivated by old, discarded correspondence and the glimpses that they offer into ordinary lives. I am very aware that I am reading words that were never meant for anyone’s eyes other than the recipients and while fascinated I also experience a sense of unease. These letters tell stories of day to day life but much more than that, they are also infused with the emotion felt at the exact moment that pen hit paper.

My series ‘Stolen Stories’ explores the concept of ‘capturing’ this emotion and then deliberately exposing it.

Picture a figure seated at a desk, bent over a sheet of paper, pen in hand. Precious time spent writing to a loved one expressing in words the emotion that they are feeling at that moment. This emotion pours from their pen and is made physical in words on the paper. However, as they are writing the energy also dances & swirls above their head and all around them for a fraction of a second before dispersing.

Now imagine an interloper creeping uninvited and unnoticed into the scene – net in hand like a Victorian butterfly collector. With one swipe of their net they capture this pureness, the very essence of personal emotion, and drop it in their jar.

As the emotion dies, it’s essence fades; it’s beauty cannot be contained. Unperturbed the collector pins it out for all to see, the vulnerabilities exposed, and sets off once more, net in hand.

You can read more about the thoughts behind this piece and the making process over at TextileArtist.org