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Explore the power of notes, found serendipitously
'Found by Laura' an exhibition at SunStudios, Alexandria.
Found by Laura is a curious collection of notes found over twelve years by Laura Sullivan. The notes, written by strangers and discarded, were all discovered by chance in gutters, on bridges, near rubbish bins and anywhere else scrap paper tends to accumulate.
A visit to her local grocery store, unceremoniously started her obsession, when an orange piece of paper on the ground caught her attention. On one side of the note was a grocery list and on the other a calendar reminder, 'Andrew-Appt Drug & Alcohol Counsellor 1st Feb' [sic]
The human element intrigued her and besides sparking questions about Andrew, she now found herself poking around amongst roadside bushes seeking more potential stories to add to her collection.
Over twelve years, she amassed hundreds of scraps of paper which she kept in an antique brown suitcase.
The exhibition reads as though you are eavesdropping on conversations between strangers but feel intrinsically entwined. It's notes like those below that have us gasping at what may have happened next.
Did Daniella make up with her parents?
A note every parent has thought about writing at least once.
It's easy to see why Laura's initial coincidence has turned into an obsession with so many heartfelt stories now adorning the walls of SunStudios in Alexandria.
Each note has been lovingly framed with a description of the location it was found which adds to each mystery. It's like reading a one paragraph story, where the ending is left open for you to imagine. The notes cover a range of emotions and you'll find yourself laughing one minute and then blushing the next.
Simple but poignant notes are sometimes the most powerful.
Found by Laura Is essentially art that fills our voyeuristic curiosity of the lives of strangers, whilst telling stories that are relatable. It covers the mundane to the explicit and everything in between. It's human frailty, raw.
The handwriting ranged from classic cursive fonts to block letters and gave voice to the real storytellers, who probably are unaware their story has been told.
Laura has attempted to track down the note owners by leaving messages of her own at bus stops. So far she has only found one owner, but would like to find more.
Note found in the snow in Mississauga, Canada after Laura got lost.
I asked the obvious question and her favourite note is "one I found on a subway platform in New York. it's so heartfelt."
A deeply personal note found on the subway in New York which is Laura's favourite.
The collection has been cleverly edited to provide entertainment for
anyone from the hopeless romantic to the inquisitive detective.
The notes inspire wonder and curiosity which is what great art always tries to do.
I found myself still thinking about this exhibition days later and have started casually keeping an eye out for pieces of paper on the ground.