About the Artist and his Work
Click on the images to see larger representations
David Allan's Art Degree culminated with his large metal sculpture of the mythical Phoenix which was erected in the summer of 1966 outside UVic's Phoenix Theatre. The theatre was housed, at the time, in the old army huts of the Gordon Head Army Camp as indeed was the entire emerging Fine Arts department.

The history of the bird circa 2012 is outlined fully here!

David's fully comprehensive biography can be found here!

From the beginning of his post-secondary education in the Fall of 1955 at the Provincial Normal School, David was mentored, taught, criticized, and nurtured by many of UVic's legendary pioneers. In the beginning, he received support from A.W. "Wilf" Johns who was probably the person most responsible for the establishment of Visual Arts at UVic.

Course work was provided by notables such as Don Harvey and John Dobreiner. Still, two individuals truly left a lasting impression on David, Larry Bakke and Bill West.

Bakke, originally from Vancouver, was a visiting professor from Everett Washington. He was demanding, critical, cynical and sometimes cruel. To him, the work was everything. It was Larry who pushed David to reach far beyond himself. He provided a catharsis that has never been forgotten. In time, David earned Larry's respect.

Bakke moved on to Syracuse University and unfortunately died at an early age. Click on the Bakke image to view a retrospective pdf from Syracuse dated 1969.

William Duncan West was a Second World War combat veteran. He was the Art teacher at Oak Bay High School. A kinder more thoughtful man would be hard to find. He was a consummate artist and craftsman in everything he did and he did many things. He came to UVic in the early 1960s. It was Bill who supervised David's graduate project, "The Phoenix" It was Bill who helped erect the finished sculpture outside the Phoenix Theatre. It was Bill who introduced David to his cohorts in the BC Art Community.

Bill was a faculty member in the Theatre Department at UVic until his retirement in 1985. He has since, passed away after a long and fruitful life.

When David entered UVic he was engaged in doing crude versions of "Group Of Seven" style landscapes. It was these that Larry Bakke found nauseous, prompting him to suggest that David scrape them off the canvas. It was Bakke, whether he knew it or not, who dragged David kicking and screaming into the world of "Abstract Expressionism" and beyond.

It was West who recognized David's handling of negative space in three dimensional work and encouraged him to build "The Phoenix."

Allan working on the
"The Phoenix." 1966
Over the years Dave's work in computer technology led him into Graphic Design which he still pursues. In 2014, however, Dave turned once again to serious Visual Arts, focussing, to begin with, on painting mostly with acrylics. This work can be found along with retrospective work on this website. Future work will also be showcased here.

Please, feel free to browse and enjoy!