A photograph of the back of a head with bantu knots.

Stéphane Alexis

Chains & Crowns, is a photo-based series of artworks inspired and dedicated to the artist’s mother. This large-scale print depicts the history, politics, science and psychology of Black Hairstyles. The typological series displayed in a grid format encourages the viewer to cross-reference hairstyles and allows the Black and broader communities the opportunity to draw from their personal experiences, whether that be through their own stories or through their community members. The work also comes with information on styles that derive from an array of time periods, cultures and movements ranging from Ancient Egypt (2700 BC – 343 BC) to The Natural Hair Movement (1960 – present). This gives way for the audience to further solidify their understanding through historical text and to question the multi-faceted ways these styles have been utilized and evolved in impact over time.

Stéphane Alexis is an artist based in Ottawa, Canada. His work stems from personal experiences, research, community collaborations and visual expression, all fostering a strong desire to bring a level of understanding to the often overlooked communities. Stéphane’s work seeks to give insight into these communities in which he belongs to.

Artist website:

Keywords: Activism | Community | Depression | Resilience | Trauma

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.


The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 



October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.



October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM

After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and  practice.


Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 


If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at


Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.