Alexis Williams (A.K.A Ember Penumbra or Ember Erebus) is a Canadian artist who works mainly in video and print. She has a love for biology and natural philosophy. She frequently uses natural materials like mushroom spores, butterfly dust, spider webs and dead birds to experiment with untraditional printmaking techniques. Her work, which often highlights the kinship of Art, Science and Spirituality, indicates the importance of observation, contemplation and adventure.
A common theme in Williams’ work is the comparison of sampling and remixing cultural material to the collection and representation of natural materials. In both cases of appropriation, the aesthetics of the original are use to comment on familiar concepts in new contexts. Collection and manipulation are fundamental aspects of her process.
There is little that pleases her more than roaming the forests in search of mushrooms. She is indiscriminate when picking them for her art. “In the winter I dream about mushrooms every night,” she said. “My mind gets used to looking for them so I look for them in my sleep.” The mushrooms that she sees while sleeping are never simply ones she has seen in her years as a forager. Someday she will make a field guide to the mushrooms of her dreams.
Butterfly wings, mushroom spores, cast-off snake skins and deer carcasses are but a few of the unexpected materials that define the artwork of Alexis Williams. Needless to say, such acts as scavenging, foraging, and collecting are all fundamental strategies that the artist employs. Roaming from east coast tides to Alaskan highways in search of new creative measures, the rhizomatic momentum is indicative of the sense of quest inherent to this artist’s practice. Sites of engagement range across a spectrum as broad as virgin forests, trance dance floors, and science laboratories. By means of such endeavors, Williams weaves a web that binds the artifacts of ephemeral traces to compose fugitive archives.
Alexis Williams is a Canadian artist with a strong mind and a free spirit unafraid to step out of society’s comfort zone and express her own ideas and opinions. Like most artists she expands her artistic vocation with a seemingly limitless mind of creativity, working with video, print and circus arts.
-Dream. Love. Grow
Mycology in Contemporary Art
Talk at the Radical Mycology Convergence
by Alexis Williams
Winner of the Ottawa Field Naturalists' Art Award
Residency in the Amazon jungle to study and paint mushrooms
the Sachaqa Art Center, Peru November 2015
The Shaman's New Mask
An exhibition of masks that embody contemporary magic.
MFA Sub Gallery, VA, Concordia University, 1395 rene Levesque W
Sept 3 -7, 2015
The Alcorian Spirit of Spider Webs, Constellations and Lab Equipment
Installation by Alexis Williams exhibited at the UCC Art Gallery, Oregon
group exhibition: Flocks of Secrets Swarms of Lies, with work by Ayatana Residents
online publication launch Jan 2015
The Illustrated Book About Death
The Mushroom Oracle
smart phone app free download 2014
NYC Under the Microscope
Bio-Art research expedition IndieGoGo campaign
From Cave Painting to Transgenics:
Biology in Art History
a talk by Ayatana director Alexis Williams
in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada July 2014
Ebb and Flow
Solstice Forest Meditation Installation
by Alexis Williams Jun 2014
Australian blog ArtBusiness interviews Alexis Williams
All the stuff that's not the art: copyright, tax, grants and residencies.
Culture Vultures' residency catalogue produced by Alexis Williams April 2014
Hearing in the Dark
Artist talk on the use of ritual in art
Tuesday, 1 April 2014 at 12:00-13:00
Hexagram Resource Centre EV 11.705
Concordia University, Montréal
Entropy of Identity
Freedom from Identity, 2014, a video by Alexis Williams will be screened at the MECA, Spain.
Here, Now, Where?
Participation in the 2014 Marakesh Bienalle.
Between Words, 2013 a sound piece by Alexis Williams will be played in taxi cabs as part of a project by radio art collective Saout Radio.
Sidi Ali Artist Residency
Morocco. Jan. 2014
The Sidi Ali Artists in Residence Program took place over 8 days in January 2014. Sidi Ali is a sufi pilgrimage that takes place evey year in a small town in Northern Morocco. The residency facilitated daytime and nighttime visits to the Moussem of Sidi Ali Ben Hamdouch interwoven with a program of talks, presentations and interviews with local spiritual musicians and academics.
Sound piece published in the Sound Museum of Silence
Creative process blog
Finish Snow Labyrinth
40 meter snow Labyrinth built at Arteles Creative Center
Silence, Awarness, Existence Artist Residency In Finland
Dec 1 - 31 2013
S.A.E offered an extreme retreat into existence through art, silence and nature. The program brought together creative minds who were working with the theme of silence, awareness and existence.
OpenSource: Openly Sourced
28 October – 10 November 2013
Parer Place Urban Screens, Queensland University of Technology’s Creative Industries Precinct, Australia
OpenSourced: Openly Sourced focuses on variance in the interpretation of light, and is one in a series of exhibitions throughout 2013 exploring the use of crowd sourcing within moving image. Video work by Alexis Williams is being projected alongside 16 other international artists on this Creative Digital Media Display Site and Exhibition Space.
Unearthing the Mysteries of the Mushroom With Artist and Amateur Mycologyst Alexis Williams
Nancy Snipper’s journey with Cuture Plus October 2013
All Mushrooms Are Magical: Interview by Montreal Cultural blog Midnight Poutine with artist Alexis Williams. Oct 2013
All Mushrooms Are Magical: A Guided Walk in the Morgan Arboretum
Guided Mushroom Walk Through the Climax Forest
Brought to you by the Sensorium at the Morgan Arboretum, Montreal
Lead by Alexis Williams Sat Oct 26 2:00pm
Pukaskwa National Park Artist in the Park Residency
Artist talks by Alexis Williams every day at 10am Aug 8th - 13th
Guided mushroom walk and appreciation workshop Aug 1 at 1:30
Print exhibition in the visitor center
Manhole cover rubbings at the Nonesuch Gallery, Parsborro, NS
Exhibition of work by Alexis Williams and Fiona Annis
July 10th - July 25th Openning and artist talk Aug 10th
Main And Staion Artist Residency in Parsborro Nova Scotia
Sunday 7th July Guided mushroom walk
Wednesday 10th July Artist Talk and Opening
Art in the Park
Gyotaku prints availble in Richmond Ontario
Gyotaku prints available at Ravenswing
Ottawa's Art's and Music fair May 26th at Mnto Park
A Fly Can't Bird
Solo show of Gyotaku prints as part of Ottawa's Chinatown Remixed Festival at Korean Palace restaurant 610 Somerset St. W, Ottawa
May 18th - June 18th 2013
An exhibition of prints created and exchanged by graduate students from Concordia University and the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis
April 23 - May 4th
Atelier Circulaire, Montreal
Vernisage April 24th 5:30 - 7:30
Open Studio and Print Sale
Semester Finnisage Saturday April 27th
VA 045 corner of Rene Levesque and Crescent, Montreal
Both and Neither
Catalogue of the prints and poetry of Alexis Williams
MFA show @ Art Mur
March 23 to Saturday, April 6
Vernissage: Saturday March 23rd, 4:00p.m. to 7:00p.m
Ultramoderne offers Montrealers a chance to see the innovative work produced by MFA Students in their first and second year of study.
Solo exhibition by Alexis Williams
27 Feb - 12 March 2013
Mouse Print Gallery, 1515 St Catherine St W, EV 9 416, Montreal Vernisage 27 Feb
Year of the Snake
Vernisage at Proof Gallery in the distillery district, Toronto Feb 10 '13
Proof Studio Gallery Feb 7 - 24 Opening Feb 10
Ontario College of Art and Design - March 2013
Ottawa School of Art - March & April
Mouseprint Gallery Montreal March 13 – 20
Muskoka Place Gallery, Muskoka April 2013
January 31 2013
National Projections celebrates Canadian art and identity through a panel discussion, Art Battle competitive painting, interactive Tweet Garden by Faisal Anwar, and Defining Moments exhibit. Free. House of Moments, 386 Carlaw Ave. Toronto.
MFA OPEN STUDIO DAY
January 30, 2013
The MFA Open Studio Day offers Montrealers a chance to engage with work-in-progress, performances, film and video screenings and on-campus exhibitions produced by current students in the MFA Studio Arts Program. Over seventy MFA candidates will be presenting their research interests in one of the following program areas: Fibres, Film Production, Open Media, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Print Media, or Sculpture & Ceramics. The event will conclude with a reception in the MFA Gallery for a chance to meet current MFA candidates and faculty members in the Department of Studio Arts.
1-3pm Open Studios EV Building, 1515 St. Catherine St. W.
3-6pm Open Studios VA Building,1395 René Lévesque Blvd W.
6 pm Reception, MFA Gallery, 1395 René Lévesque Blvd W.
Free, everyone is welcome!