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Hannah Starkey's photographs appear real yet artificial, documentary in style yet highly cinematic. Her stage-managed and constructed images recreate snippets of everyday life, embuing them with a sense of import and expectation. Like many of her photographs, Butterfly Catchers features adolescent girls, immersed in their own thoughts and activities. For Starkey, these young women are 'heroines of their own fantasies', despite the apparent futility of their quest. The act of chasing butterflies evokes notions of unfulfilled expectation, transience and human frailty, and it is perhaps significant that this image was made on the eve of the millennium.

August 2004