David Alker is an artist working across a range of media. His practice includes reconstructions of historic sites and meticulously constructed small-scale painting. He analyses our perception of ‘history’ as appears through cultural frames, devices, systems and physical structures. These include the landscape as seen through the diorama, the documentary archive photograph, aspect perception in optical illusions and the rhetorical conventions of ‘history painting’.
His 17th Century Landscape Painting series began as a research project undertaken at the VASA Museet in Stockholm. In this series of works Alker converts the ‘landscape’ of a museum diorama into a group of individual framed episodes. The scene represents a mediaeval shipyard and the project is a documentation of this site in which construction and making take place. The question of the conditions under which creative practice can take place is a recurring theme in his work and the 17th Century Landscape Painting parallels his earlier installation Mondrian’s Studio a recreation of Piet Mondrian’s New York studio at 11 East 59th street.
In his recent work he explores the function of a painting within a physical space through the values of scale and position. Alker questions the traditional notion of the support by transposing the medium and process of painting onto various forms of object. These works
Highlight the problematic conditions surrounding contemporary painting. Rather than being fully present, painting functions in these works as a referent, something accessible only indirectly. Calcutt, GSA
Working with artist Peter Liddell he has made a series of ‘bipartite’ paintings of album covers on cream crackers. These Record Collections have been shown many times including at Atelier Grammophon, the original Deutsche Grammophon record pressing factory in Hannover. Alker and Liddell made a number of works associated with the post-punk/arthouse/garage/rock band The Fall and in 2011 their paintings were included on reissues of the Fall’s albums This Nation’s Saving Grace and The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall on Beggars Banquet records.
David Alker lives in Manchester. He studied Fine Art and History of Art at the University of Leeds. He teaches on the BA Hons Fine Art course and is Academic Lead for Fine Art in the School of Art Design and Fashion at the University of Central Lancashire.