Ursula Handleigh Palimpsest
“Between presence and absence, Palimpsest is an intervention into the familial archive. Working with thread and light, I am retracing the transitory moments of my ancestral past. Being the first generation of my family 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 that accompanied them. The stories I heard about my parents and ancestors informed who I am and filled 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 from which I was detached while simultaneously constructing the kinship I longed for.”
— Ursula Handleigh
Ursula Handleigh is a conceptual lens-based artist whose practice explores questions of identity, perception, memory, and familial relationships. Palimpsest features almost 100 silver gelatin prints onto which Handleigh has hand-sewn using cotton thread, which are presented alongside her Journal series, where needle and thread are used to retrace her father’s journal. Large-scale reproductions of the artist’s work are also on view within the gallery and outside the building.
Curated by Patrick Macaulay