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David Hancock attempts to make palpable the psychological gap between the world we physically experience and the psychological states through which it is apprehended.

I achieve this by painting from staged tableaux. These are rendered in a hyper-realistic style painted directly from miniature still-life sets.

Within my work, key themes become apparent: online identities, failed utopias, anachronistic practices, and escapist communities. Yet within these themes, my work is rooted in the tradition of painting; signifiers are taken from historical works of art, sources and themes.

However, these are suggested through the appropriation of composition, gestures or objects, in an attempt to grasp the continued relevance of painting and its ability to communicate within the prevalence of digital media.

Though rooted in the archaic practice of painting, the work is concerned with opening up the possibilities that exist at the juncture between painting and digital media.

Painting’s continued presence highlights a society on the cusp: actively embracing and making the best use of digital technology but not ready to relinquish more traditional means of production.

Though painting could be seen as a reaction to the proliferation of digital technologies, my paintings actively embrace this immersivity. For the communities I represent, immersion into the virtual is not sufficient, and instead, their preference is towards the physical realm where they can manipulate and engage more tangibly.

As a painter, Davids intention is to create fantastical immersive worlds. He attempts to document the obsessions of a generation who wish to believe in utopia, but suffers from the knowledge of its decline.

Immersed in gaming culture or social networking, the work portrays individuals that find acceptance and esteem in like-minded communities. Within these communities they attempt to create their own ideal society. The works form part of a broader conceptual examination of the resonance between the cult of the individual and anonymity in today’s media saturated world.

Within my own work, the dolls have become a way for me to explore the concept of the artist’s studio, creating a self-contained world centered on each individual doll.

They are my avatar as I investigate the process of painting and making art. The dolls are a manifestation of my own self; each one created from scratch in order to address and inhabit a specific still life using a variety of collected objects. Each doll is tailored to the tableau in which they will appear so that their appearance and dress compliments the objects within the still life. The whole tableau forms a loose narrative extending the persona I create.

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