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A painter, illustrator and lover of tropical plants, Dan Sparkes has been a part of the Fish Factory studio since June 2017. He studied in Bristol and lived there for eight years, then moving to London, Stroud and finally arriving in Cornwall.

Dan appreciates the bright setting of Cornwall with its eccentric characters and rich history. Since the move to Penryn, Dan believes the Fish Factory has been reignited, becoming much more visible and buzzing with a range of new events, music and exhibits. He enjoys being surrounded by other artists, especially in winter, enjoying the diversity and colours of each individual within the studio. As an advocate of good food and coffee, the café is a very important part of his studio experience too.

An international artist, Dan is currently designing for an LA based clothing company. In August 2018, he will have a solo show in London at the Dinner Party Gallery and is planning another exhibition in Tokyo. His favourite exhibition in the Fish Factory so far has been Len Hatcher’s sketches and he draws inspiration from artists such as Rex Van Minnen, but also from garden centres, totalitarian monuments and sausage shaped objects.  

Dan explores the surreal and magical side of art and aims to construct a monument to bewilderness. He uses oil paint, old books and pencils, creating comical totem paintings and abstract drawings which are “beyond comprehension.” His art is visually elaborate and the bewitching element of his work allows him to evoke wonder, familiarity, but most importantly, confusion for his viewers.

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