About Les Alker
Les Alker was born and raised in rural NSW. He grew up on the family property, receiving his early formal education through correspondence schooling due to the lack of a school bus. Hand in hand with his schooling went the obligatory education of nearly all rural children of the time in the management, care and mastery of farm animals in general, and horses in particular. Along with the rest of his young rural peers, from an early age he and his pony joined his sisters as mustering units on the property, through which he quickly gained an affinity with horses and a natural ability to ride them.
In his late teens he discovered polo as a game he liked, and (because of his upbringing with horses) could do well at. He became a devoted player, travelling to different countries to first work as a groom to learn the game better, and finally as a professional player. His playing days ended in 1994, after having played in a number of countries including New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, United States and the UK (and, of course, Australia)
At a very early age he also discovered his creative bent, revealing a love of drawing and other creative pursuits, including photography, which has stayed with him throughout his life. While he was pursuing his career in horses, he was also producing art works and photographs which he displayed individually in the countries where he worked with horses.
When he left polo, he began to concentrate on his artistic side. His first public exhibition of artworks was held in Armidale in 1980, and since then he has had 50 plus exhibitions of his work across a wide area, (roughly) exhibiting from Brisbane to Sydney and right across North West NSW over a period of 9 years. In 1997 he was asked to accompany the winners of the Archibald prize on a tour of North West NSW with a series of paintings called the Wedge Tail series, which was ultimately broken up and sold to private collectors in 2001. One of the paintings, “Dinner with the Smiths” was purchased by Howard and Jane Frank, owners of the Frank Collection, one of the world’s leading collections of fantasy art.
In 2009 he began to concentrate more on photography, particularly equine photography, covering events such as camp drafts, pony club days etc. From that time forward, using his artistic talent and knowledge in the field of art and design, he has developed his skills and imagery into the capture platform that produces the great images he offers today. Capturing magic.