Elaine Whittaker is a Canadian artist inspired by an aesthetic in which art and science intersect. Her artworks have been shown in group and solo exhibits,
nationally and internationally. These include, among others, Ontario Science Centre (Toronto), Science Gallery (Dublin, Ireland), Plug In Institute for Contemporary
Art (Winnipeg), Red Head Gallery (Toronto), Yukon Arts Centre Gallery (Whitehorse), McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton), Kunsthaus Santa Fe (San Miguel de
Allende, Mexico), Il Gabbiano (La Spezia, Italy), and the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (Michigan, USA). She has been an invited participant in residencies,
workshops and festivals on science and art, and her work has been featured in literary, academic, medical, and scienti c periodicals, websites and blogs. She is a
recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, and holds a BFA (York University, Toronto), a Fine
Arts diploma (Toronto School of Art), and a BA (Carleton University, Ottawa).
Cultural critic Mike Davis contends that an ecology of fear, and even panic, increasingly de nes contemporary imagination. My artworks examine how the cultural
and social ecologies we inhabit are being transformed in unexpected, and often uncontrollable, ways. These transformations are viewed through the matrix of
biology, the aesthetics of disaster, and the psychology of trepidation.
We live in a porous world, in porous bodies. The possibility of being breached, infected, and losing body integrity is always present. My artworks explore this fear by
portraying the invisible world of teeming microbial life as luminous beauty but with the terrifying possibility of infection. Considering biology as the basis for my
contemporary art practice, I use scienti c methods and technologies to create installations, sculpture, photo-based images, and paintings. Situated in the realm of
Bioart, my artworks challenge viewers’ perceptions about their bodies, as sites that are continually trespassed, tainted, and contaminated by a popular culture that
escalates social anxiety and terror of microbes, fueling a sense of bioparanoia.