Palimpsest by Ursula Handleigh
Opening Jan 29, 6-9pm, Exhibition continues to June 19, 2016

Harbourfront Centre 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON, M5J 2G8

Ursula Handleigh. Untitled (068) (detail), 2014. Silver gelatin paper, cotton thread.

Ursula Handleigh. Untitled (068) (detail), 2014. Silver gelatin paper, cotton thread.

Between presence and absence, Palimpsest is an intervention of the familial archive. Working with thread and light, I am retracing the transitory moments of my ancestral past. Being the first generation in my family to be born in Canada, I have always felt detached from my family’s history. Growing up, I was surrounded by old family photographs and enveloped by the stories accompanied by them. The stories I heard about my parents and ancestors informed who I was and fill in the gaps of my own life’s story. These memories, created by others before me, became an extension of my own. Methodically retracing these remnants, I am creating my own ephemeral moment, physically binding myself to a familial history of which I was detached while simultaneously creating the kinship I longed for.

– Ursula Handleigh

This installation features almost 100 silver gelatin prints from the series Breathing into Empty Spaces which which were hand-sewn with cotton thread presented alongside an original work from her Journal series, and three large-scale reproductions of the artist’s original work within and outside the building. The works were produced between 2014-2016.

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Ursula Handleigh is a conceptual lens-based artist. Working with experimental photography, film and historical processes of image making, her practice explores questions of identity, perception, memory and familial relationships. Handleigh earned a BFA from OCAD University and is currently working towards a MFA from NSCAD University in Halifax. Her work has been exhibited across Canada, the US and Europe.