Valerie Sparks is a Melbourne based artist who creates large scale printed works and immersive installation environments. She is interested in the history and aesthetics of immersive environments, including frescos, glass houses, stereoscopic photographs, French scenic wallpapers from the 1800s and contemporary 3D light based installations. In 2015 Valerie completed a Masters of Fine Art at Monash University. She also has a 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. Exploring historical collections and archives is a core element in Valerie’s practice. She has undertaken number of research projects in a variety of locations including; the Vienna and La Rochelle Natural History Museums, the Musueè du Papier Peint in Rixheim, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Whitworth Gallery of Art, the Royal Institute of British Architects. The strong historical focus in her practice is reflected in her work, as she references and reinterprets historical imagery, archives and artefacts.
Valerie has exhibited extensively with a consistent practice and process of investigation. She has been the recipient of a number of 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. Valerie is the winner of the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize for 2016, and has been a finalist in the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, and the Fremantle Print Award, Tidal, and the Hutchins Art Prize. Her work is in a number of collections including the National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria and Art Bank. Valerie is currently an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform at the New Horizons Research Centre at Monash University.