Valerie Sparks is a Melbourne based artist who creates large scale printed works and immersive installation environments.
Sparks has studied widely, including a Masters of Fine Art at Monash University, Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Anthropology and Pacific Studies, Honours in Anthropology, and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Drawing. The traces of her studies are effortlessly interwoven into her practice in surprisingly and incredibly innovative ways, with a particular focus on exploring historical collections and archives.
Sparks's interest in the creation of large scale immersive works has been inspired by both historical and contemporary sources, from early Italian frescoes to 18th - 19th century French scenic walls papers and literary sources through to contemporary 3D light based installations.
She has undertaken extensive research projects into historical collections including; the Vienna and La Rochelle Natural History Museums, Musueè du Papier Peint in Rixheim, Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, Victoria & Albert Museum, the Whitworth Gallery of Art and the Royal Institute of British Architects.
These studies and research projects have informed, are reflected, in her approach and technical abilities to compose large scale print and installation works.
Sparks has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Australia Council London Residency, the French Embassy Cite Des Arts Studio in Paris, the City of Port Phillip Rupert Bunny Award, Australia Council New Work funding, and Arts Victoria International Program funding.
In 2016 Sparks was the winner of the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, and has been a finalist in the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, the Fremantle Print Award, Tidal, and the Hutchins Art Prize.
Sparks is currently an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform at the New Horizons Research Centre where she has access to cutting edge technology and the opportunity to work with engineers and scientists as she builds on the work initiated during her residency with the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory in Pisa 2017.
Her work is represented in a number of collections including Monash Gallery of Art, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and Art Bank.