The inspiration for artist Helen Ward's 'Lepidoptera' series comes from a stack of original Victorian marbled paper that she discovered at a book fair whilst still a student. The paper remained in her 'stash' for a few years until she was experimenting with making pop up books, cutting, folding and manipulating paper. It was during this time that she was drawn back to the Victorian marbled paper and began thinking of how to use it. Influenced by its Victorian origins she began to explore the theme of entomology and the series was born.
The effect Helen Ward creates is wondrous, fully exploiting the 'Cabinet of Curiosities' aesthetic. Helen selects and cuts each insect, moth and butterfly by hand showing immense skill and control with the scalpel. The paper cuts are pinned with entomology pins to the soft white background and carefully positioned to create beautiful shadows and elegant compositions. Darkly romantic, these pieces capture the imagination of dusty libraries and forgotten treasures waiting to be discovered.