Ian Willms

Contact: +49 157 85848963 | ian@borealcollective.com | Instagram

ProjectsBlog posts

Ian Willms (b. Canada, 1985) is a wandering documentary photographer whose work resides within the gulf between journalism and contemporary art. From the baking, cracked highways of the American Southwest, to the frozen railways of Siberia, Willms strives to communicate the emotional environment surrounding his subjects through a poetic, visceral approach to making pictures. To date, Ian’s work has been particularly focused upon the narratives of disempowered peoples, sacrificial environments, and dissolving cultures that are the byproducts of globalization, economic growth and geopolitical conflicts. Ian’s exploration of these subjects often returns to the common thread of conflicting interests and inevitable compromise.

Ian is a recipient of the Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent mentorship. His previous works have been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council and exhibited at O’Born Contemporary, Photoville, CONTACT Gallery, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography and the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Photographer Website:

Published by

The New York Times
The International Herald Tribune
BURN Magazine
The Walrus
Toronto Life
Applied Arts
THIS Magazine
Report On Business Magazine


2013 — Contact Photography Festival Portfolio Award: 1st
2013 — FotoVisura Photography Grant: HM
2013 — Magenta Foundation Flash Forward: Winner
2013 — Canada Council for the Arts: Visual Artists Grant
2013 — Pictures of the Year International Environmental Vision Award: HM
2012 — Photolucida Critical Mass 2012: shortlisted
2012 — National Magazine Awards: Photojournalism & Photo Essay, Gold Award
2012 — Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund: shortlisted
2012 — Ontario Arts Council: Visual Artists Grant
2011 — Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Emerging Photographers: HM
2011 — Contact Photography Festival: Feature Exhibition
2011 — Ontario Arts Council: Exhibition Assistance Grant
2010 — Magnum Expression Award: shortlisted
2010 — Applied Arts Magazine: Young Blood
2010 — NPPA Best of Photojournalism 2010, Domestic News Picture Story: 2nd
2008 — NPAC Student Photographer of the Year: HM
2007 — Society of St. Vincent De Paul: Sisters of Providence Award
2007 — ECNPA Student Visiion Award: HM

Selected Exhibitions

2013 — May: “Private as Public”, Harbord Coin Wash, Toronto, Canada (juried group installation)
2012 — June: “The Present”, Oz Studios, Toronto, Canada (juried group show)
2012 — January: “After The End”, O’Born Contemporary, Toronto, Canada (juried group show)
2011 — October: “The Occupation”, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography Vitrines, Toronto, Canada (juried solo show)
2011 — June: “Mapping the Flâneur”, Newcastle Arts Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom (group show)
2011 — May: “Home”, Contact Photography Festival Feature Exhibition, Bau-Xi Photo, Toronto Canada (juried group show)
2011 — April: “Merging and Emerging”, Etobicoke Civic Centre, Etobicoke, Canada (juried group show)
2011 — March: “The Cheaper Show”, Black and Yellow Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (juried group show)
2011 — March: “Mapping the Flâneur”, Format International Photography Festival, Derby, United Kingdom (group installation)
2010 — November: “No Comfort”, Group Installation, New Gallery, London, United Kingdom (group installation)
2010 — September: “Detroit”, Pikto Gallery, Toronto, Canada ?(juried solo show)
2003 — March: KOR Gallery, Kitchener, Canada ?(juried group show)

Book Publications

2013 — Global Chorus, Anthology of Worldwide Concern and Enduring Hope
2013 — Magenta Foundation, Flash Forward Emerging Photographers 2013
2011 — Magenta Foundation, Flash Forward Emerging Photographers 2011