Alexis Williams


Ember Penumbra


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.

-Jessie Matheson


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.

-Fiona Annis


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
April 2016
mushroom art

Infamous Mushrooms

Residency in the Amazon jungle to study and paint mushrooms
at the Sachaqa Art Center, Peru
November 2015
mushroom art


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

shamans new mask

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 Feb. 2015

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
Nov 2014

art + science


From Cave Painting to Transgenics:
Biology in Art History
a talk by Ayatana director Alexis Williams
in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada July 2014

ayatana artist talks


Ebb and Flow
Solstice Forest Meditation Installation
by Alexis Williams Jun 2014

bb an flow



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.


Between Words

Sound piece published in the Sound Museum of Silence




Ember Penumbra
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.

Open Source


Unearthing the Mysteries of the Mushroom With Artist and Amateur Mycologyst Alexis Williams

Nancy Snipper’s journey with Cuture Plus October 2013

culture plus


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

minight poutin


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

Guided musrhoom walk montreal



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

pukaskwa art



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

man hole cover art


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
June 15th

richmond art in the park


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

salt crystals


Both and Neither

Catalogue of the prints and poetry of Alexis Williams

both and neither



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.

buterfly dust



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

mouse print gallery


Year of the Snake
Vernisage at Proof Gallery in the distillery district, Toronto Feb 10 '13

snake prints


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


Defining Moments

January 31 2013

national projections

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.



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!

mfa open house