Alla's Christ Is Not An Aryan' animation on top of Axel Spinger Building in Berlin, 2007

Alla Tkachuk BSc MSc FRSA

With a background in science (holding two science degrees), Alla has enjoyed a career in fine art. Her work has featured on the front pages of The Times (UK) and Bild (Germany), and in the Guardian, Independent, Jackdaw Art Review, Art Industry, Hello!, Der Spiegel, Die Welt, ITV, amongst others.  She has exhibited worldwide and her work resides at the Royal College of Music and in the BBC Public Ownership Collection. She is a recipient of the Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence Award, UK Millennium Award, and Gold Medal of the publishing Lead Awards. Alla is an RSA Fellow. She is based in London.

Artist Statement

I began my artistic journey by exploring human identity through representational art. Inspired by the synergy of art and science, I experimented with transforming the production and consumption of representational art through modern 3D digital technologies. Through curatorial work, I explored the opportunities for artists to progress the way they share their art with their audiences. For the last 17 years, my artistic focus embodied the social dimension of art, its ability to not only express issues but deal with the issues directly, shaping people’s identity and empowering them to making the difference. Through my social art project MASK I hope to help influence social change and foster creative identity of MASK’s young people.


The list of Alla’s main projects in chronological order included:




Portraits 1997-2018


Alla painted world-renowned opera singers in their stage characters  at the Royal Opera House. They included Sir John Tomlinson, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sir Bryn Terfel, Dame Felicity Lott, Angela Gheorghiu, Sir Willard White, Sir Thomas Allen, José Cura, and Marcelo Àlvarez. The paintings were exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Royal Opera House among other venues.  


The Royal Ballet commissioned Alla to paint a portrait of Dame Ninette de Valois. She also painted the Royal Ballet principal dancers Dame Darcey Bussell, Irek Muhamedov and Jonathan Cope. The portrait of Dame Darcey Bussell featured on the front page of The Times (UK) in 1999.


Among her private and public portrait commissions are portraits of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Dilks, George Steiner, Academician Uryi Osipov, commissioned by various universities, as well as Sir John Nott, Lord Bird and other public personalities.



Prince Charles Portrait Series, 2000–02


Following a sitting at Highgrove, Alla created a series of drawings and paintings of Prince Charles. They featured on the cover of The Times (UK), Bild and Der Freund (Germany). ‘Black Prince’ won the Gold Medal of the prestigious publishing Lead Award for ‘Best Magazine Cover of the Year 2005'. The series was exhibited at Ebury Galleries in London's Belgravia in 2002.



The 20th Century Naked Dictators Series, 2002–07


This series - of oil paintings, digital prints, wallpaper/textile design and an animation - explored the historical figures of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Mao and Stalin. The series was exhibited at Alla’s solo show at the Crone Gallery in Berlin in 2007 and featured in international press and media. The Times (UK) called ‘Siamese Twins’ ‘The Image of the Week’ in 2003. The Saatchi Gallery named it the ‘Critic's Choice’ in 2007. The ‘Christ is Not an Aryan’ animation was screened on top of the Axel Springer Building in Berlin in 2007 and dabbed as ‘one of three things to see in Berlin’ by Bild and BZ magazine (Germany). Full figures of ‘The Naked Dictators’ were published in Der Freund magazine in 2005. Other images featured in the Berliner Morgenpost, Sleek magazine, and Die Welt (Germany).



Instigative Heads, 2004–08


Alla’s ‘Instigative Heads’ explored the transformation of production and consumption of contemporary portraiture through 3D digital technologies. Scanning heads of life models using 3D medical scans producing 'texture maps' and rendering them in oil, Alla merged the paintings into 3D digital portraits using software moulding them in space and time. The Heads were accompanied by 'electro-acoustic landscapes'.

 The Heads were exhibited as 3D-printed models and projections at The Shunt, London, using motion-sensing technology so visitors could interact with them; at the Balaklava Odyssey Media Art Festival in the Crimea; and in 2006, the 'Heads featured at 'The Changing Face of Portraiture’ seminars at the National Portrait Gallery in London. 



National Portrait Gallery Seminar Series, 2004–06


Alla curated her own seminar series on modern portraiture ‘The Changing Face of Portraiture’ at the National Portrait Gallery in London, debating how portraiture can escape the ‘shackles of convention’with leading artists and critics such as Maggi Hambling and Tim Marlow. The Times (UK) was the series’ media partner. These were: Contemporary Portrait Painting: New Approaches, April 2005; Photographic and Digital Portriture, Sept 2005; and 3D & Installation Portraiture, June 2006.

The Times wrote: ‘Alla Tkachuk believes that radical new concepts are needed in portraiture today. She would like to encourage 3D digital and installation portraiture, has invited a cosmetic surgeon to discuss his work “sculpt faces”, commissioned a “sound portrait” that uses computer software which translates image into music, and offered herself as a living portrait to grace the walls of the NPG. Tkachuk intends the choice of venue to be provocative. The NPG was established by the Victorians as a gallery about the history and status of the sitter rather than the quality of the portrait as art.’ (The Times, 13 June 2006.)




MASK, 2007–ongoing


Alla founded MASK Create (maskcreate.org) to empower young people through creativity. Starting in Kenya, the project has now reached 16 African countries. It has been exhibited at UNESCO, Saatchi Gallery, Turner Contemporary, Nairobi National Museum, the US Library of Congress, and other institutions. In 2020 it won ‘Most Innovative Learning Organisation’ SME News Award.

Other work


Alla has written a column ‘How to Look at Art’ for the Kenyan national newspaper The Star since and contributed to the blogs of the Royal Society of Arts (UK) and the Results for Development Institute (USA), and articles for magazines: AD (Art & Design, UK), Childhood Education (USA), and Private Sector (Kenya).




Main exhibitions



Saatchi Gallery           Alla Tkachuk | Saatchi Art

Linkedin                      https://www.linkedin.com/in/allatkachuk/

Twitter                         https://twitter.com/GreatWALKofArt

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Email                           alla@allatkachuk.com