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About Dave Sparkes










Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina - "Separate Realities, solos show, March 2023.

Lone Goat Gallery, Byron Bay - "Distillation", solo show, March 2022.

Coldstream Gallery, Ulmarra – “Watercolours”, solo show, March 2020.

M-Arts Precinct, Murwillumbah – “The Illuminated Landscape”, solo show, November 2019

Tweed Regional Gallery, (Gallery Downtown),

Murwillumbah   – “Incandescence”, solo show, March 2019.

JEFA Gallery, Bangalow – “First Anniversary”, Group Show, December 2018.

Grafton Regional Gallery  - “Luminosity”, solo show, September 2018.

Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina  -  “The Colour of Light”, solo show, October 2018.

The Bucket List, Bondi Beach  -  “Submerged”, Group Show, November 2018.

The Lone Goat Gallery, Byron Bay  -  “The  Goat Show”, Group Show , Nov 2017.

The Lone Goat Gallery, Byron Bay  - “Illumination”, solo show, February 2017.

Art Moment Gallery, Bondi Beach  -  “Love Moments”, Group Show, 2008.





John Glover Art Prize - Finalist, 2024.

Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize - Finalist, 2023.

Heysen Landscape Award - Finalist, 2022.

BAM Art Prize - Finalist, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023.

OS Art Expo - Winner, Best Watercolour, 2022.

Winner, People's Choice, 2023.

Camberwell Art Prize  - Selection, 2017.

Art Piece 30x30 Prize  - Finalist, 2017

Pacific Palms Art Festival  - First Place, Nature Division,  2012.

Pacific Palms Art Festival – Highly Commended, 2013.



Ballina Shire Council Permanent Collection



Tracks magazine – Regular painting/story column, several works, several feature articles.

White Horses magazine - Several works, several feature articles.

Common Ground Byron Bay – feature article.

Swellnet - Interview and featured selected works.



Dave is represented by the Coldstream Gallery, Ullmarra. Just north of Grafton and situated right on the picturesque Clarence River, this historic river town is a must stop for any travellers on the Pacific Highway.


Dave is happy to create beautiful commissioned works of your favourite place, at reasonable prices and executed within promised time schedules. Please contact us to discuss your special project.


All frames are a neutral wood veneer, with off white matte, a very low key effect which allows the work to sing without any undue distraction. They are also designed to harmonise with virtually any decor, in any dwelling.













Dave Sparkes has been involved in various creative pursuits for many years. He was senior writer/photographer for the iconic surfing magazine, Tracks, for over 20 years.

He has had hundreds of photographs and over 200 feature articles published in numerous magazines internationally, and has interviewed many surfing greats such as Tom Curren, Sunny Garcia, Mark Occhilupo, Dave Rastovich and Mick Fanning. His work has appeared in many books including “The Moment” (Sean Doherty) “Archipelago” (Sean Doherty) “The World Stormrider Guide” (Anthology) and “Pilgrimage” (Anthology).

Dave has done assignment and advertising work for companies such as SMP, Billabong, Quiksilver, Etnies, Arnette, Kuta Lines and in particular Rip Curl, for whom he has completed over 30 travel/advertising assignments over a 20 year period.

His photographs have adorned the covers of magazines in many countries, including the US, Australia, France, New Zealand, England, Brazil and Spain, and most notably he photographed the cover of the prestigious 2005 US Surfer Magazine Photo Annual.

His book of words and photographs, “The Wave: Tales From the Impact Zone”, was published to rave reviews in Australia and New Zealand by Hachette Publishing in 2011.)


Dave has been painting watercolours full time since 2012, concentrating mainly on plein air landscapes and seascapes. He is fascinated by sunlight and shadow, and strives to create an atmospheric mood in his work.

His painting is a hybrid of impressionism and realism; true reality on paper is impossible, and his attempts at reconciling the world at large, in effect his own impression of realism, is the essence of his art. This altered reality defines his style, and dwelling in that mysterious zone is one of the reasons he paints rather than just taking photographs of a scene. He tries to evoke a sense of whimsical, almost melancholy reality, suggesting a time before man’s interference with the landscape.  He likes to paint places as they once were, just humming along in their heartbreakingly pristine state.


Dave currently resides in Byron Bay with his wife, Tracey, and focuses all of his energies on landscape painting, particularly his luminous watercolour seascapes.








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