From love letters to shopping lists -- lost notes shape new London exhibition

Story highlights

  • A selection of notes from British artist's 1,500-note collection goes on display in London
  • Artist spent six years trawling streets finding scraps of paper detailing people's lives
  • In era of smartphones and social media, notes provide reminder of power of handwritten word

London (CNN)Ever written yourself a note, stuffed it in your pocket and headed out into the world only to discover that, somewhere along your journey, the piece of paper has disappeared?

If you live in the UK, there's a small chance that note has found its way into the hands of 23-year-old Daisy Bentley. For the past six years, the London-based artist has scoured the streets of cities and towns looking for those odd bits of paper that flutter to the ground when their owners aren't looking.
    Her quest has uncovered a fascinating, if idiosyncratic, collection of shopping lists, reminders, requests, love notes and motivational musings, all poignant pieces of others' lives. And now a gallery in London has put a selection on display for the public.
    "I wasn't intending to start a collection," she told CNN. "I always naturally collected things -- as many artists do -- and it got to the point that I was picking up every one I saw. Now I can barely walk down a street without picking up a scrap of paper."
    Bentley began collecting them six years ago after a note caught her eye one rainy night on a walk in her home town of Norwich, England.
    It's something she confesses has been a lifelong love -- keepsakes ranging from her mother's cutlery to her own