My work is a lighthearted celebration of femininity, life energy and colour. I began creating in this vein as an attempt to combat or balance out the heavy feelings I’ve always had about the struggles women face the world over. I also love to explore our ever-important connection to the beauty of the natural world.
I start with a photographic portrait I’ve made and a fairly large collection of pieces of found images, cut out of magazines and books. Once I have printed my portrait and spread my collage materials out, I try to assemble the collage quite swiftly, going with gut decisions about which found pieces to layer in with my photograph. It’s very important to me that the process be spontaneous. After the physical collage is finished, I photograph it and bring it into a digital space, where I create a layer of illustration – again, a very swift and imperfect process – as a finishing touch. The swiftness and imperfections are important elements to me because I struggle with perfectionism and I am practicing embracing the joyful process of making.
This work’s purpose is to compel the viewer to slow down, take a second look (and a third and a fourth) and to enjoy a sense of wonder and lightheartedness. I hope the viewer feels delighted, joyful, and connected with nature and femininity while experiencing this work.
Alexis McKeown is a photographer and mixed media artist, born and raised in Alberta, Canada. She currently resides in a beautiful town called Canmore, in the heart of Western Canada’s Rocky Mountains where she works at creating art in her studio as well as owns and operates a thriving portrait business.
Alexis’s education as a photographer began in the days of film and the darkroom; she studied briefly at Grant MacEwan college in Edmonton and since then has learned independently, studying online, in libraries, and with mentors. She works with both film and digital photography and her mixed media work is comprised of photography, hand cut collage, and illustration, both digital and analogue.