Alexis Williams

 

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biologicalelementalmystical
  uyfluyluy

Print

Trained in traditional printmaking techniques Alexis enjoys large format digital printing and stenciling but is most happy working in experimental media such as heat and light sensitive materials (skin, fabric, plants) and experimental biological printing techniques (grass, living yeast, perishable foods, coffee, mushroom spores) where she explores processes free from tradition.

Some of her catalogues, zines books are available on issuu.com

 

 

 
fireflies

 

Puddles of Living Light II
2015
Cameraless photographs of fireflies taken by letting fireflies walk on photo paper.

moss moons

 

Moss Moons and Murmurations

Living moss graffiti

bones

 

Jolly Rogers

Edition of 25 varied monoprints.
Direct prints from wolf, deer and racoon bones

moksha

 

 

Moksha
An Illustrated Book About Death

In reference to Tom Robbins and Robert Thurman. The Illustrated Book About Death began as a comparison of the functions of science and art. It was a field guide to death and nothingness using the corpses of dead birds as muse; a catalogue of the dead birds I found in my garden and the reflections they inspired. It was intended to harmonize art and science to inspire contemplation of the ephemeral and perpetual cycle of life. It consisted of informative and mysterious text and hand drawn thanatological and ornithological diagrams followed by photographs of specimens at all stage of decay that illustrated the process of death and discussed the essence of life. The project has evolved into a chapter of a larger book. The original content has been reworked into a more poetic, spiritual representation. The photographic imagery has been transformed into ornate mandalas and the text has been restructured in the style of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

 

counter-balance

 

 

Counter Balance

2014

Publication by Alexis Williams

5 artists from around the world were lead by cultural explorer Jessica Stephens into a world of magic and ritual within the contemporary Sufi culture in Morocco. The goal was to inspire creativity with faith and to infuse art with spirituality. The outsiders flowed through the moussem. They had a week to experience the lilas and brotherhoods, to witness sacrificial offerings and the traditional cacophonies, fragrances and vibrations of trance therapy. The outcome is a series of questions and answers contained in these pages.

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Yestogram Self Portrait

2013

Made during a workshop with Lucas Czjzek hosted by the Finish BioArt Society at Pixelache in Helsinki. The white layer of the image is baker's yeast growing in an agar plate, the black is the charcoal colored agar where the yeast has been killed by exposing it to UV light

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Finnish Snow Labyrinth 2013

 I made a meditation labyrinth in the snow in the dark. I used a traditional design to see if I could successfully transpose a design from paper to the ground, and to learn how much space I actually need. Traditionally the meditation labyrinth is used to unwind and to help guide you to your center. While I write my thesis which will be a guided meditation on inaccuracies of our perception of nature and of the self I have been practicing meditation and hypnosis to understand the format. Walking a meditation labyrinth is supposed to bring clarity over obstacles and help to find one’s path. While walking my labyrinth for the first time I worried that I had made a mistake building it and that my path was looped or flawed. I realized that I needed to have faith and that the only way to see if it was the correct path was to follow it completely. I have been worrying that I made a mistake in coming to Finland, that I have arranged too long a trip and have been tempted to quit before carrying out my plans. The labyrinth has inspired me to carryout my plans before I decide that they were made hastily.

both and neither alexis williams
 

Both and Neither

2013

Catalogue of the prints and poetry of Alexis Williams

crystal world
 

Crystal Constellations

2013

Crystal Constellations, is a series of large format digital prints on acetate of high res scans of photographic contact sheets of delicate Epsom salt crystals grown in petri dishes. The result was a constellation of fictional crystallized planets. Each grown in an afternoon, admired, illuminated and dissolved. Washed down the drain where the salt will go on to form new crystals in other places and times. What are left in these prints are shadows of the ephemeral bodies that represent just one ephemeral incarnation of an eternal cycle.

pudles of light

 

 

 

Puddles of Light
2013

Bioluminescence is the production of cold light by a living organism. It is a natural form of chemiluminescence that occurs in marine creatures, microorganisms and terrestrial animals. These white orbs were produced by exposing photographic paper with puddles of living bioluminescent bacteria in salt water harvested from a squid and cultivated by the artist in a simulated marine environment. The common bacteria live in many sea animals and are present in most sea food. The organisms light up when disturbed, like when applied to light sensitive paper with a syringe. The puddles of living light produced black orbs on the photographic paper, which were then used as negatives to print these inverted images.

 

butterfly dust

 

 

Road Kill Lepidoptery
2012 butterfly dust on cotton

The action of road kill lepidoptery is one of quiet meditation, reflection on death and beauty. It is a pilgrimage that requires one to walk slowly and to bow into half prostrations every few steps. The practice encourages magical thoughts of looking and finding similar to the magical manifestations observed while collecting mushrooms that demonstrate that there is much more beauty around us that we do not observe unless we train our eyes to see it. Nothing can be found without seeking it out and that much more wonderful things can be found if one is open to noticing them. Walking along 1 km of highway, I collected over a thousand dead butterflies.

 

man hole cover art

 

 

Entrance

2012

Graphite rubbings of man hole and sewer covers remixed with grave stone embellishments into ornate mandalas.

 

rubbing

 

 

City Rubbings

2012

A diary of graphite rubbings as 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 prints are bound into a one of a kind book.

 

spider beb prints

 

 

Book of Orb

2012

A collection of orb spider webs, painted and caught on hand made paper.

 

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Grave Rubbings

2012

Epitaphs remixed into poetry and calendars.

Graphite rubbings from gravestones on hand made paper.

Garrison creek
 

Garrison Creek Rubbings

2012

Graphite rubbings of remixed brass memorial tiles in Trinity Bellwood Park, Toronto of the fish that lived in the creek before it was filled in with the land extracted to build the subway system. The creek still exists under the park as a storm water sewer.

 

flat

 

 

Nature Morte

2012

Gytotaku fish prints on hand made Japanese paper.

This series of editions of monoprints are made with real fish and real birds. A technique traditionally used by Japanese fisherman to accurately record their catches with out compromising their marketability.

Dharma

 

Dharma
Everything Survives by Going Round in Circles

2011

24 Digital prints on mulberry paper hand written text in mushroom ink

Digitally manipulated macro field photographs of Canadian mushrooms

umbrella

 

Umbrellas

2011/12

 

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Mycography

2008-11

These wild mushroom spore samples were taken carefully to preserve the shape of the mushrooms, a method traditionally used in species identification and cultivation. I collect hundreds of wild mushrooms every day to use in my spore prints on glass.  My favorites are large scale multi-layered pieces, which are impossible to photograph because they are reflective. These images are scans of prints small enough to fit on the scanner bed.

 

excuisite corpses

 

Exquisite Corpses

2011

deck of 204 3 x 4 inch giclee prints

Fragments of images from art history and pop culture  appropriated from the internet.  Originally the Dada parlor game drew from the collective unconscious, taking ideas from the players’ imagination and putting them into a predefined structure, in my version the player is in control of the structure, but not the content.

 

 

Yantra

2009

Folded digital prints turn inside out to reveal an infinitely repeating print.

leisions

 

 

Lesions

2008/09

A series of diptychs: Digitally manipulated macro photographs of rust and lichen, two processes initiated by water that occur slowly over decades. The processes presented were developing on two of the artist’s favorite symbols of liminality; the grave stone and the tractor. The rust was decaying machines resting in constructions sites, machines used to build our urban landscape. The lichen was growing on stones that mark graves, sites of human decomposition.
Each image, reminiscent of religious architecture or clothing represents both growth and decay.

 

i match

 

 

I Match

2005/6

The series of large format digital prints was made from light paintings captured during live performances where long exposure times were used to turn 3-dimensional movements into 2-dimensional marks.

A gesture was made in the dark with a match in each hand. A camera used a long exposure time to translated the movement into a drawing which was projected on a screen immediately after each movement was made.

 

tractoria

 

 

Tractoria

2005


Digital print and performance
Many sets of six
3.5" x 4"

Tractors: An umbrella term for all heavy machinery that acts as destructor or constructor of our urban landscape. These creative motivational texts were handed out at art and music festivals.

 

keratisis
 

Actinic Keratosis

2005

Sunburn on skin

Actinic keratosis is a skin lesion caused by sun damage that leads to skin cancer.