(Wet Plate Collodion image by Michele Selway)
Bruce Whistlecraft (A.K.A Doktor A) has become synonymous with the creation of Victorian Futurist style Robot characters. Indeed, his popular ongoing Mechtorians series unravels the story of the retrobotic realm of Retropolis one artwork at a time.
Brass moustachioed scientists rub copper-plated elbows with polished metal bank managers, fairground hawkers and socialites in this fantastical realm where humans play no part. A world whose inhabitants go robotically about their daily routine, playing out their part in a mimicked society modelled on a flimsy perception of an ideal world.
Every aspect of our own lives are reflected and filtered through the robot’s ill informed perception of what they are expected to be. Social hierarchy played out as theatre and consumer trends reflected as crippling exercises in vanity or peer pressure. When machines try and duplicate our world the nonsense of the everyday is plain.
The Doktor’s work is an investigation of artifice.
From the physical actuality of pieces that look like complex automata, but are incapable of movement. Through the simulation of materials from other mediums. To the wider psychological and sociological constructs of what constitutes a person’s character and place in society.
Even the artist’s name is artificial.
Nothing is what it seems.
Having exhibited for the last ten years in gallery shows set as far a field as Los Angeles and Hong Kong, the Doktor’s works have found homes in high profile private art collections around the world and new pieces are keenly anticipated. His characters have also reached a wider audience through the medium of toys. Short run collectible figures take on the role of three dimensional art prints, with more rare editions being highly sought after.
Trained as an Industrial Modelmaker, Bruce has worked in many fields of the advertising and entertainment industry. A period of time working as a “blue-sky” concept designer with a leading UK toy development company, linked with his eight years as a gallery owner have combined to make him the unique artist he is today. Unlike many other artists in the “art-toy” world the Doktor is a toy maker turned artist. Rather than the more usual artist turned toy maker.
He works from his studio on the Yorkshire moors in the UK.
Portfolio Site: BruceWhistlecraft.com
With BBP Creations (2012)
With Steampunk Writers (2013)
With the Toy Chronicle (2014)
With the Pandora Society (2014)
With Circus Posterus – joint interview with Chet Zar (2013)
Guest on episode 142 (2014)
Mechtorians have featured in these books and magazines.
issues 14 – 2009, 8 – 2006
Issue 146, 2009
Issue 21, 2007
I Want Your Skull
Issue 3, 2007
The Colour Ink Book
“The Steampunk User’s Manual”, Abrams Image 2015
“Art Toys 2.0”, VTS Toys 2014
“Spectrum Contemporary Fantastic Art” Volume 20, Underwood Books 2013
“Spectrum Contemporary Fantastic Art” Volume 19, Underwood Books 2012
“Steampunk Gazettee” Fil Rouge Press 2012
“Steampunk – The Art of Victorian Futurism” Korero Books 2011
“Colour Ink Book” Volume 12, 2011
“I am plastic too” Kidrobot, 2010
“Dot Dot Dash” Die Gestalten Verlag , 2006
2011 Designer Toy Award “Best Customiser”
(worldwide designer toy industry award)