Elaine Whittaker considers biology as contemporary art practice. Her artworks are an intersection of art, science, medicine and ecology. Her practice is based principally in installation and includes sculpture, painting, drawing, and digital imagery, incorporating a range of materials: from the traditional - paint, pigment and wax, to the unconventional - mosquitoes, salt crystals, human cells, and live microorganisms.
Whittaker has exhibited nationally and internationally, including among others, Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Ontario Science Centre (Toronto), Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa), MUSA Museum of Salt (Cervia, Italy), Science Gallery London (UK), Riddoch Art Gallery (Mount Gambier, Australia), Harcourt House (Edmonton), Fudan University Science Gallery, (Shanghai, China), Gwacheon National Science Museum (Seoul, South Korea), Islip Art Museum (Long Island, US), Science Gallery Dublin (Ireland), Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art (Winnipeg), Yukon Arts Centre Gallery (Whitehorse), McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton), the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (US), Kunsthaus Santa Fe (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico), and the Red Head Gallery (Toronto).
Whittaker has been an invited participant in residencies, workshops and festivals on science, art and medicine, and a featured artist on digital galleries including Art the Science, MEDinART, and Photomediations Machine. Artworks have also appeared in literary, art, and medical periodicals and magazines, including Hamilton Arts & Letters, Interalia Magazine, SciArt Magazine, E-Squared Magazine, VLAK, Wreck Park, Clot Magazine and Tussle Magazine. Her work is also featured in William Myers' BioArt: Altered Realities, published by Thames & Hudson (2015). In 2018 she was the first Artist-in-Residence with the Ontario Science Centre (Toronto). She is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Pelling Laboratory for Augmented Biology (University of Ottawa), and has participated in two residences at the Banff Centre (Alberta). 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 in Visual Art from York University, Toronto, an Art Diploma from Toronto School of Art, and BA in Anthropology from Carleton University, Ottawa. She is represented by the Red Head Gallery in Toronto, Canada.