Alastair Whitton graduated with distinction in 1994 from the (then) Natal Technikon School of Fine Art in Durban, South Africa where he was the top student in the Faculty of Art and Design. He was an award winner at the 1994 ABSA L’Atelier (formerly Volkskas) awards and in the same year was the recipient of the Emma Smith International Scholarship.
In the summer of 1995 he was artist in residence at the studio of Marlene Dumas in Amsterdam after which he travelled to Scotland to further his studies at the Glasgow School of Art where he was tutored by British photographer and conceptual artist Roger Palmer.
To date the artist has presented seven solo exhibitions and his work has been featured in exhibitions at notable museums and institutions including the University of Johannesburg (2017); Pratt Institute, New York (2016); Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome (2015); Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice (2015); The Center for Book Arts, New York (2014); Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (2011); IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2010); FotoMuseum, Antwerp (2010); Johannesburg Art Gallery (2010); Musee National du Mali, Bamako (2009); National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare (2002); Gasworks, London (1998); IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town (1997); Africus Institute for Contemporary Art, Johannesburg (1997) and the Durban Art Museum (1994).
He has participated in various international art fairs and festivals including amongst others Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town (2013-2019); AKAA: Also Known as Africa, Paris (2017-2018); Open Design Festival, Cape Town (2015); FNB Joburg Art Fair; Johannesburg (2013-2014; 2009-2011); Head On Photo Festival, Sydney (2013); EAB Art Fair (Editions: Artists’ Books), New York (2009; 2013); Out of Africa Festival, Munich (1997).
Whitton’s work can be found in various private and public collections including that of the Durban Art Museum, University of South Africa, Jack Ginsberg Collection, South African Centre for Photography, National Museum of Mali and the Luciano Benetton Collection in Venice amongst others.
In addition to his own ongoing creative practice he has contributed towards academia and the art industry in his roles as Lecturer, Curator and Art Director at various institutions, arts publishers and commercial galleries. An advocate for the preservation of libraries and the enduring relevance of the printed book, Whitton has initiated and co-designed a number of limited edition publications that have subsequently been added to the special library collections of prestigious institutions including amongst others the Wits Art Museum (WAM), Johannesburg; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Pratt Institute, New York and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.