Leighsha Sinnesael

Leighsha Sinnesael

My lifework has been driven as an artist, photographer, and teacher. My background includes degrees from the Ontario College of Art and Design, University of Guelph and University of Toronto focusing on Arts and Education. Throughout my life, I have captured and expressed the beauty of our surroundings through various mediums. In the late 80’s and 90’s I exhibited my work predominantly in Southern, Ontario and have been part of the juried show process having many works accepted into exhibitions. Now, at the end of my teaching career, with experience and purpose I began to see the world through a different lens. I call my journey back into the arts, My Mourning Journey. The vision all began with Covid when I began reflecting on my life and my own mortality.

I started photographing the northern landscape in the summer of 2020. Later that year, I added an inanimate object to the scene that I was photographing. An object that I held onto since 1989 when I was just twenty- six. The object is my father’s chair, which he used at the harvest table on the farm. The old chair is deliberately planned and placed in the landscape usually with old barns or in fields. I have been photographing my dad’s chair throughout the seasons during different times of day in many locations in the area. The chair is strategically placed with its back in the scene. The intent is to give the viewer a quiet resting place to relax and to ponder the view. My body of work questions the use of the land symbolically by the old chair juxtaposed with an old barn; two old objects slowly disappearing. These images are documenting a time in space with objects having lasted a hundred years or more. I merely seek to make beautiful authentic photographs with a personal keepsake from my father. My mindset wrestles with the experience of losing loved ones, losing places, and items that we have long owned and kept as memorial objects. I am photographing the disappearance of farming, a lifestyle that is continually changing. Long gone is the family farm. A time in my life when it was an honest, hard-working way of living.

I am documenting my life’s memories from my childhood recollection of being raised on a farm. Personal objects are incorporated to recreate those meaningful memories. Memories of my life and the people who brought so much love to my world. I want others to have an opportunity to view what I see, what my father saw, what we all want to see. Many of us have a beautiful heartfelt space that makes us feel alive and thankful. As for me, I am gently walking the land without spoiling the view or leaving my mark often looking for those I have lost throughout my life.

Work Gallery