Michaela Lesayova

East Street Arts

Michaela Lesayova is a cross-disciplinary Artist, Creative and a specialist Coach who will be joining us as part of the Climate Change Residency.

In spite of being an early career solo-Artist and Freelancer, she has operated and worked in the creative industry for almost 15 years.

Originally from Slovakia, Michaela is a Leeds resident and University of Leeds and Leeds Arts University alumni. Her original specialism was events management and she has experience of working with international festivals and companies (theatre, dance, opera, music). Through her past project management work she got involved in education within the arts and worked extensively with young children, youth, families and, most recently, with autistic adults and neurodivergent audiences, which is her present specialism.

Michaela has an active creative practice, and as a neurodivergent artist herself she works with and produces sensory sensitive art informed by colour, form, textile materials and ecology. Alongside this Michaela has a long-standing film photography practice which feeds into her cross-disciplinary artwork. In 2021 Michaela founded livingwell which is a lifestyle service offering specialist coaching and creative services focused on improving wellbeing through creativity and mentoring principles. livingwell’s services are rooted in ecological approaches to wellbeing and creativity and invite its audiences and clients to reconnect with themselves in holistic ways to access personal empowerment and self-expression.

As an artist Michaela works intensively through ecological frameworks which inform all her art. Having experienced repeated serious loss of health and ongoing chronic health complications, Michaela’s approaches and artistic practice explore deeply our relation to our local environments and the impact urban centred living has had on our wellbeing and creativity. Michaela investigates this through her engagement with locally accessed and sourced natural resources and organic matter, which she engages with through textiles and fabrics via the means of natural dyeing.

Michaela’s fine art sensory paintings explore emotions, gentle sensations, state of mind and somatic perception via the means of colour, form, intuitive and meditative approaches to art making. Recently, Michaela started experimenting with botanical inks and replacing watercolour medium in her sensory
meditative paintings to deepen her ongoing ecological and artistic conversation, whilst also inviting her audiences further to reflect on our relationship with earth and creativity. Michaela’s main artistic focus is on co-creating art with her immediate environments and how she can translate this to her audiences and wider community.

As part of the Climate Residency with East Street Arts, Michaela hopes to get to know some of
the local communities and projects within these communities that she is already familiar with
on a deeper level (for example Mafwa Theatre, Lincoln Greening, My Environmental Summer School).

Michaela hopes to explore how she could introduce some of her artistic practices and creative approaches to these local communities and this way ignite an engaged conversation about climate change with residents from Mabgate, Lincoln Green and Burmantofts. This will involve conversations around how they feel climate change is affecting their lives, what they as a community and individuals can do about this, how they can find ways how to support, educate and empower each other; in the first place through the engagement with East Street Arts and then through applying their learnt skills and tools as take outs from this exchange.

Michaela really looks forward to conducting an in-depth research for the purposes of this and
sharing the outcomes of her enquiry with the local communities this summer.