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Chains & Crowns

Stéphane Alexis

October 22 - November 26, 2022

Opening Reception Saturday, October 22nd, 1-3PM

Artist Talk Thursday, November 3rd @ 7PM on Zoom

Chains & Crowns explores afro hairstyles and its impact on culture from a socio-historical standpoint. As the lineage of these hairstyles are followed, we find the opportunity to understand members of the culture not only from a technical standpoint, speaking on structure, maintenance and styling, but the history of the people and persons. Timestamped are these hairstyles throughout members of the artist's communal and individual history, as they’ve cycled through periods of oppression and appreciation through the lens of society and self. Many of these hairstyles deriving from Africa and the Caribbean have not only been repurposed for survival and adaptation but ingenuity and creativity. Deeply woven within the roots of black culture is the influence of style, community and resilience that has brought growth and character development to many of its members throughout time. This shifting of character has brought forth a unique perspective to our Western culture. As we arrive in the present moment, we are free to follow the strands of love, contempt, and overall beauty of what we call “black hair”.

- Text by the artist


Stéphane Alexis is a second generation Caribbean-Canadian artist based in Ottawa. His work stems from personal experiences, demographics, and sub demographics to which he belongs. His focus is both on conceptual design and aesthetic quality. He brings attention, and transparency to people and communities that are tucked away due to their hardships. These qualities help bridge insight on issues and circumstances facing these communities both locally and globally through the subject matter.

A graduate of Algonquin College, he also holds a Diploma in Photographic Arts and Production from Ottawa’s School of the Photographic Arts (SPAO). Stephane Alexis has received several grants from the municipal to federal level and just exhibited in the Karsh Continuum 2022 exhibition (Ottawa). He was just nominated as a finalist for Project X Award of 2022 and has received numerous national publications. His work is part of many private and corporate collections including the Canada Council Art Bank.


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