David McCracken began sculpting in his teens, mostly figurative work carved in wood. Returning to Auckland in his early twenties he worked in a variety of jobs including boat building and construction and gained skills using fibre and later steel fabrication and welding.
He became involved in performing arts and in a short time was working full time in the production of sets and props. At this time he began making sculpture using a wide variety of materials. McCracken saw the potential of steel fabrication for producing art from readily available and inexpensive scrap when he could afford little else. He also experimented using a variety of materials including river rocks, synthetic hair and found objects. He furthered his metal fabrication skills to include aluminium, stainless steel and corten steel, and began casting in bronze and stainless steel.
In 2000 he had his first solo exhibition ‘Fabrications’ at the McPherson Gallery and exhibited at the Beecroft outdoor sculpture show, marking the beginning of a series of floating works. In 2001 he was short listed for the Wallace Awards and had a second show ‘H2O2’ at McPherson Gallery as well as some private commissions. Work slowed for a spell after the birth of his third child in 2002 but in 2003 he increased production and is now sculpting full time.
McCracken has exhibited at many outdoor exhibitions including three Sculpture in the Gulfs, winning the People’s Choice award in 2005, and Shapeshifter exhibitions. He has been short listed for the Wallace Awards three times, being an award finalist twice.