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Dave Sparkes, ‘Evans Head Trail’ 2018 Watercolour, 60cm x 90cm. Image: Contributed

Dave Sparkes delivers an atmospheric mood

The watercolour works of Byron Bay artist David Sparkes are featured in an exhibition hosted by the Grafton Regional Gallery. 

Sparkes is fascinated by sunlight, shadow and reflections, often painting from the ‘contra jour’ (into the light) viewpoint, and strives to create an atmospheric mood in his paintings. His exhibition, Luminosity, evokes a sense of whimsical, almost melancholy realism an alternate world, suggesting a time before man’s interference with the landscape.

Gallery director, Niomi Sands, said his painting was a hybrid of impressionism and realism; true reality on two-dimensional paper is impossible, and his attempts at reconciling the world at large with his own impression of realism, was the essence of his art.

She said the altered reality defined his style, and dwelling in that mysterious zone was one of the reasons he painted, rather than just taking photos of a scene. He often painted places as they once were, just humming along in their heartbreakingly pristine state.

David Sparkes has been involved in various creative pursuits for many years. He has been senior writer/photographer with the iconic surfing magazine, Tracks, for more than 20 years.

He has had thousands of images and more than 200 feature articles published and has interviewed many surfing luminaries such as Tom Curren, Occy, Sunny Garcia, Dave Rastovich and Mick Fanning.

His photographs have adorned the covers of magazines in many countries, including the US, Australia, France, New Zealand, England and Spain, and most notably he photographed the cover of the 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.