Alexis Williams



Entrance  (drainspotting)

The project evolved from the juxtaposition of gravestone decorations and man hole covers to point out their similarities as markers between above and below and as thresholds between the known and the unknown. The work has been refined into a collection of rubbings of manhole, drain and conduit covers remixed into geometric patterns resembling monumental mandalas.  The collection’s title refers to both a place of entry and the induction of a trance. The work is designed to simultaneously act as a doorway through which things are revealed to consciousness and as a dissociative that will lead to the stimulation of the unconscious mind.

As a forager living away from the forest, a shift in practice was necessary to adapt to what was available for observation in the city. The obsessive collection of rubbings of conduit covers was a forced exercise aimed to compensate for the absence of natural specimen to observe.  Just as the process was designed to activate my own awareness and appreciation of my urban surroundings, the work is intended to activate the viewer’s awareness of the realness of the forms. The process of their creation is intended to reveal itself slowly and upon leaving the gallery to continue to reveal the existence of conduits underfoot and the presence of a surprisingly numerous and divers range of covers in the city. The change in perception should lead to the awareness of the underground passages; and illuminate something that is often overlooked while suggesting that more might be unperceived or unintentionally ignored.
Stardrop Asterism is the only asymmetrical Entrance. Made with covers to the water main emblazoned with the company logo ‘STAR’, it simultaneously signifies  paradoxical elements; a star chart and ripples in a puddle made by rain. Each represents a drastically differing time scale; one above, one below; one water, one fire.

The rubbing technique was traditionally used for the reproduction on paper of monumental brasses found in churches.  The act of taking a rubbing transfers form from a specific place to an unfixed, sometimes fragile state while bringing the image into a new context.  What is reproduced is the residue from an encounter.  The transformation of mass produced hardware industrially designed to serve a specific function in the urban infrastructure into one of a kind, handmade mandalas presents a contradiction; a bastardisation or a corruption of a system. A passage from the known to the unknown that wavers back and forth and sometimes rests in-between.  Entrance draws attention to, and unravels the space between urban living behavior and personal spiritual experiences.



flower of life tree grate drain cover geometry
drain cover rubbing tree rubbing drain spotting
entrance sacred geometry drains
spore print man hole cover rubbing drain art
magic fish rubbing carpe diem