Cape Town based artist Alastair Whitton was born in Glasgow in 1969. He graduated with distinction from the Natal Technikon School of Art in 1994 and was subsequently awarded the Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship. He went on to study at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland where his tutors included Sam Ainsley and Roger Palmer.
Whitton’s oeuvre comprises ‘photo-objects’, sculpture and artist’s books. Drawing on cultural sources including literature, history, art and religion he is known for multi-faceted and conceptually sophisticated work that is concerned with notions of structural composition and the ways in which we recognise and navigate the world around us.
In 2009 he was selected to represent South Africa at the 8th African Photography Biennale. This touring exhibition, entitled Borders, featuring photography and video from more than 50 artists from the African continent was curated by Michket Krifa and Laura Serani and premiered at the National Museum of Mali. Antawan Byrd, Curatorial Assistant at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos in his review of this pan-African exhibition highlights Whitton’s work as showing “real critical and conceptual engagement” and arts writer Mary Corrigall described the work as a series of “astute statements … about the relationship between language and imagery that challenge our expectations of photography.”
Whitton has held solo exhibitions at David Krut Projects, Johannesburg and Brundyn + Gonsalves (formerly iArt), Cape Town and his work has been featured in various survey exhibitions at venues including the South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Aktionsforum Praterinsel, Munich; the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare; the National Museum of Mali, Bamako; Centre for Contemporary Art, Vilnius; the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon and FotoMuseum, Antwerp. Whitton’s work can be found in various corporate and public collections in South Africa.