David Parker was born in 1949 in Stafford, England. He originally trained as an engineer, and then as a commercial illustrator. An early interest in photography developed from a hobby into a fulltime occupation. Through his work Parker investigates contemporary landscape through the medium of large-scale black and white photography. Conceptually, the work demonstrates contemporary art's vital ability to affirm our physical and metaphysical interactions with the world around us. His training as both an engineer and a commercial illustrator allows Parker to use custom built panoramic cameras and processing equipment. In fact his book The Phenomenal World was conceived as a large-scale gallery presentation, and required an extensive period of experimentation with two especially built panoramic cameras and military reconnaissance film stock.
"Parker's pictures mirror to us an existential isolation evoked almost nowhere else in the history of photography."
- Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
The Phenomenal World was, in fact, conceived in 1992 and continues to explore the symbolic potential of particular geological landforms, especially natural arches. Variously seen by different mythological and cultural traditions as bridges between worlds, portals of discovery, thresholds and even stone rainbows, these arches become metaphors of transition between the temporal and eternal, the material and transcendent.
David Parker's photographs, taken on sea voyages in places he chooses not to name, summon lone rocks, arches, needles, spars floating in eerie, still isolation as they loom against a luminous horizon; his seas look poured like smoked glass from edge to edge and beyond. He endows them with sculptureal qualities: colossal Giacometti figures of shadow and suggestion, rough-hewn or smoothed by the impact of the elements.
David Parker's work is housed in many important corporate art collections such as Citibank, N.M.Rothschild & Sons, Goldman Sachs NY, The Syz Collection Geneva, Lombard Odier & Cie, Zurich, Coutts Bank, AIG Private Bank and also in many important private collections. He has enjoyed exhibitions in London, Zurich and the USA and his monograph The Phenomenal World received the Best Landscape Book award in 2001.