Alexis Williams


City Rubbings

The following collection of graphite rubbings are daily observations of urban infrastructure and household objects during September, October and November 2012.  This forced practice of observation was designed to cultivate an obsessive awareness of the textures and patterns in Montreal.

The original rubbings are bound into a one of a kind book.


  1.  Visual art building elevator floor
  2.  Visual art building elevator wall
  3. Railing from Visual Arts building stairwell
  4.  Paving stone outside Visual Art building
  5.  Wall of Engineering/Visual Art building elevator
  6.  Stump for sitting inside coffee shop on Rachel St.
  7.  Shelf in ceramic studio
  8. Decorative cut out around garbage cans in China town, Ottawa
  9. Paving stone outside Visual Art building
  10. Tree stump in Monalulu Forest, Ottawa
  11. Concrete paving stone outside Visual Art building and amp grill
  12. 9th floor Engineering/Visual Arts building


  1. Conduit cover on platform of St. Henri metro station
  2. Conduit cover inside Sherbrooke metro station
  3. Montreal Conduits manhole cover on St. Catherine St.
  4. Electric transformer number 3627 cover
  5. Drain cover on Rene-Levesque St
  6. Manhole cover on Rachel St
  7. Electric transformer number 2981 cover
  8. Manhole cover on Montcalm St
  9. Manhole cover on Amherst St
  10. Tree grate on Maisonneuve St
  11. Conduit cover outside Mount Royal metro station
  12. Conduit cover half way down stairs in Beaudry metro station
  13. Electric transformer number 2761 cover
  14. Floor plate inside door on Beaudry metro station
  15. Tree grate on Mountcalm St
  16. Telephone wire manhole cover on Sainte-Catherine St
  17. Drain cover in ally behind St. Marie St
  18. Manhole cover on Wolfe St
  19. Electric transformer number 4157
  20. Conduit cover on Crescent St
  21. Tree cover on Notre Dame St
  22. Exit sign on 4th floor Visual Art building


  1. Door of Lucien L’Allier metro station
  2. Charlevoix metro station floor
  3. Peel metro station floor
  4. Peel metro station wall
  5. Peel metro station floor
  6. Peel metro station floor
  7. Beaudry metro station wall
  8. Guy/Concordia metro station wall
  9. Lionel Groulx metro station floor
  10. Place St Henri metro station floor
  11. Ventilation grate on platform at Beaubien metro station


  1. Letter from Windsor Hotel sign
  2. Façade of a house on Notre Dame St
  3. Sign for Eliza Griffiths show, Love, Alienation and Free Associations, in the FOFA Gallery
  4. House number on 1220 St. Jacques St
  5. Ventilation cover inside Chateau Laurier Ottawa
  6. Grave of Nicholas Brian Carter, born into heaven September 23 2004 Cherished baby of Chris and Sandy
  7. Crate #2 of Red Cross blood donor clinic equipment
  8. Licence plate of Black convertible BMW parked on Crescent st


  1. Emergency call station at Place St Henri metro station
  2. Emergency sprinkler system for Engineering/Visual Art building
  3. Floor plate between main doors to Champ du Mars metro station taken during peak foot traffic time
  4. Landing plate at bottom of escalator in Berri UQAM metro station taken during peak foot traffic time
  5. Landing plate at bottom of escalator in bank taken during peak foot traffic time
  6. Landing plate at top of escalator in Faubourg shopping mall taken during peak foot traffic time
  7. Landing plate at bottom of escalator in Engineering/Visual Art building taken during peak foot traffic time
  8. Floor plate between main doors to Engineering/Visual Art building taken during peak foot traffic time
  9. Fire alarm in residential building on Montcalm
  10. Elevator call buttons in Engineering/Visual Art building
  11. Elevator buttons inside Engineering/Visual Art building, taken during peak traffic time, all of which had to be pressed to take rubbing
  12. Elevator buttons inside Visual Art building
  13. Emergency call button inside Visual Art building
  14. Sprinkler system on Peel St
  15. Grate between cars of moving metro train
  16. Valve on outside of stopped metro train
  17. Step on back of parked ambulance
  18. Access plate on side of idling fire truck, 46 Freightliner on St Remi St, lights flashing, fire men tending to emergency


  1. My new address
  2. A leaf from the Sumac tree outside my new apartment
  3. A childhood toy promoted to watching over my parents’ kitchen
  4. An element on my stove
  5. A letterpress turbot
  6. The grate over a vent in an old friend’s house
  7. Vinyl Sfortata steel orchestra record
  8. Tiles in a village loft bathroom
  9. The lace of a parasol
  10. The cover of the diary I lost
  11. The floor of a house I sat
  12. Reproduction brass for recreational/ educational rubbing
  13. Vent grate in loft building I sat
  14. Quilled phonebook
  15. Fan cover



rubbing man hole graphite rubbing landing plate reaphite rubbing china town
graphite rubbing amplifier  rubbing log rubbing vent cover
rubbing 9th floor rubbing elevator wall paving stone
graphite rubbing stove elements rubbing parasol rubbng floor
hard wood floor ceramic tile vent grate
vinyl record rubbing vent grate rubbing brass rubbings
lletterpress fish man hole cover transform
4157 conduite cover metro hole
fan rubbing quilled phone book sumac leaves
2043 diary cover teleport
tree grate sewer cover man hole cover rubbing
underground entrance transformer graphite man hole art
transformer montreal grate exit
man hole montreal man hole art metro floor
metro station floor blood donor 20
infants grave valeur fish kiss
w infants grave man hole cover art
emergency emergency sprinkler valve
elevator button floor plate drunken elevaotr buttons
elevator buttons press them all floor rubbing graphite vent
metro station floor metro station floor ambulance
something small matro wall tiles fire truck grate
metro floor tiles metro door metro floor tiles
metro floor tiles metro wall tiles