Ursula Handleigh

+15 Window Exhibition
October 1 to November 30, 2014

This body of work addresses the lingering ephemeral moment and the disintegration of memories. Journals act as physical extensions of our own memories, an external archive which we can flip through and recall specific moments. Memories are malleable and change over time, disintegrating and becoming more distant with each recollection. Journals, diaries, notes and letters all help to inform our memory, working with each other to fill in the gaps that have become blurred or lost with time.

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.

Using a needle and thread to retrace my father’s journal from the past, I am bringing forth memories which have been lost. Drawing from ephemeral moments, I am physically binding my own memories with those of my ancestors, drawing from my family’s history to create a history that is my own.


Ursula Handleigh is a visual artist based in Toronto and a graduate of OCAD University’s BFA program. Working with photography, film and historical processes of imaging making, her work explores questions of identity, perception, memory and familial relationships.

Ursula has participated in the XPACE/SPARK Art Space Residency in Syracuse, NY; the MC McCain Post-Graduate Residency in Toronto, ON; and the Spark Box Residency in Prince Edward County, ON. Her work has been exhibited across Canada, the United States, and Europe.