Lesley Walker-Fitzpatrick a.k.a. Maya
Born in Scotland, named after Robbie Burns’ sweetheart Lesley Baillie. Learned to walk in a storm crossing the Equator on a ship bound for South America. Childhood on a sugar plantation in Guyana on the edge of the jungle, I planted my feet firmly at the foot of the green goddess. First pets included a giant anteater, a parrot and baby ocelot cubs.
Schooling in 13 schools in 5 countries on 3 continents including; Windsor, Chicago, Plymouth, Michigan, Niagara Falls and Fonthill, Ontario. Attended The University of Rochester earning a BA in Developmental Psychology. Worked as a Flight Attendant for Air Canada.
I performed as Maya, the Goddess of Magic with magician Doug Henning at the Royal Alex Theatre and toured in Europe, the Middle East and Canada as a magician with Mars Barrick- Mars and Maya – and as a solo.
I studied photography at the University of Rochester with William Giles and have worked on both sides of the lens. Amongst artists and photographers Edmund Soame, Richard Stodart, Dave Heath and others, I sharpened my vision. My self-portrait work in conjunction with Dave Heath was shown at the Ryerson Gallery, Toronto; Artscourt, Ottawa and Light Impressions, Rochester. I am an artist member of Gallery 96.
I worked as a psychiatric researcher at the Hospital for Sick Children on studies about mother-child interaction in pre-mature babies, children with developmental delays and physical trauma. I am an educational entertainer and artist in the schools creating and presenting programs about social justice and environmental issues as well as dance and drama. I am one of six artists awarded a Canada Council Grant for the collaborative, interdisciplinary, intergenerational community arts project “Have We Forgotten? The Hope Project”.
Awards include an Ontario Arts Council Grant for ”The Moth and the Flame”, DuMaurier Search for Stars, a Dorothy Shoemaker Literary Award, a Stratford Shakespeare Festival Guthrie Award for “The Fight Master” (a documentary about fight director Patrick Crean) and a YMCA Canada Peace Medal.
I am sister and was amanuensis to inspiring poet John C. Walker, my brother, who was quadriplegic and mute. Married to actor Richard Fitzpatrick and mother of Alex Fitzpatrick, artist. I am also blood sister to African lion, Jake.