Franki Sparke


Born 1953 in Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Lives in Australia. (old website – new one under construction).

Bachelor of Arts, Dip Visual Arts/ Printmaking - Australian National University, National Institute of the Arts


1981 Co-founder of the Free Milk Workshop, print workshop based at North Ainslie Primary School
1981-2012 Part-time lecturer and tutor, Canberra School of Art (ANU), University of Canberra, CIT
1982, 86 Staff Shows, Canberra School of Art
1982 Sporting Round-up, solo exhibition, Bitumen River Gallery, Canberra
1987 My Place, solo exhibition Tilley Devine’s Café Gallery, Canberra
1988-2016 Freelance illustrator with major commissions from Austudy, AUSaid, National Folk Festival, Anglicare
1989-94 Artist/Co-ordinator of Community Arts projects inc Backyard Projects, Postmarks, Environmental Artists Scheme
1992 Co-founder of the Bette Noir, a small portable gallery located around Canberra
Bette Noir I, Dog Dreams, Recession Nativity, Stamping Ground, micro- exhibitions in Bette Noir Gallery, Canberra
1993 Dropping the Hammer, solo exhibition Tilley Devine’s Café Gallery, Canberra
Mongrel, joint exhibition with John Pratt, Gorman House, Canberra
1995 Sitting on a Rock, solo exhibition, australian Girls Own Gallery, Canberra
1996 Visual Arts Consultant Team member for the New Canberra Playhouse
1996, 98 Swanky Hankies and Dog’s Breakfast, group exhibitions, ANCA Gallery, Canberra
1997 Commissioned by Gungahlin Development Authority to develop visual arts ideas for Gungahlin Town Centre, ACT
Artist/ Consultant to Kinhill Engineers for Gungahlin Town Centre Entry Project
1997-98 Artist/Consultant for new site specific bus shelters at Gungahlin, ACT
1997 Commissioned to design public art (doormats, mosaic pillars, logo) for CMAG building, Civic Square, ACT
1997-98 Commissioned to design architectural detail and street furniture for Gungahlin Town Centre, ACT
1998 Professional Development Grant from artsACT
1998-99 Artist/Consultant to ACT Landscape and Dorrough-Britz on preliminary stage redevelopment of Curtin Shops, ACT
Commissioned to design public art for Yerrabi Pond District Park, ACT
Commissioned by Canberra Museum and Gallery to design and produce banners for Floriade
1999 Fastwork, window installations, Gorman House ACT, Festival of Contemporary Art
2001 The Dog and the Shadow, solo exhibition, Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra
2002 Awarded ACT Creative Arts Fellowship
2003-5 Tutor, Messengers, Bungee Programs (building resilience in young people through art)
2003-10 Member of BEAM projection project, supported by ArtsACT
2004 The Crack, solo exhibition, Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra
2005 Everything breaks, digital projections on to High Court Building, Canberra, Dwell 24/7
2005 Commissioned to launch Colour-in Canberra by painting first Traffic Control Box
2006 Winner, M16 Drawing Prize
2006 Winner, Australian Graphic Design Association Distinction Award for Illustration
2007 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition 2007 Bologna, Italy
2008 Winner, First Prize 14th International Competition of Illustration and
Finalist 7th International Competition of the Illustrated Book, Teatrio Cultural Association of Venice
2009 The Black Sea, solo installation in Gallery 4, Canberra Museum and Gallery ACT
2010 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition 2010, Bologna, Italy
La grammatica della figure, international illustrators’ exhibition, Bologna/Rome, Italy
Selected, Libris Awards, Artists’ Book Forum, Mackay, QLD
2011 Artist-in-Residence, Megalo Print Studio, Canberra, ACT
Awarded CAPO Fellowship for research and development of Open City comic project
2012 Artist in Residence Mawson Primary School (artsACT Artist in Schools Program)
I colori del sacro, Aria, international illustration exhibition, Padua, Italy
2013 Artist-in Residence Bridge Guard Residency, Sturovo, Slovakia
25th Bridgeguard Exhibition, Bridge Guard Artist Residence, Sturovo, Slovakia
2014 I colori del sacro, Viaggio, international illustrators’ exhibition, Padua, Italy
2015 Pictographics, solo exhibition, Left Hand Gallery, Braidwood, NSW
Designed and published Milagre ikan nian, a picture book in Tetum distributed to schools, libraries in Timor Leste
Selected, 5th Guanlan International Print Biennial, China
Selected, 2015 International Print Triennial, Krakow, Poland
2016 Patterns of Now group exhibition, Art not Apart at Nishi Gallery, Acton, ACT
Finalist, Swan Hill Print and Drawing Awards, Swan Hill, Victoria
CHEAP street poster art festival, Bologna, Italy – selection international open call



Where location works (museums, private collections):


National Gallery of Australia

Canberra Museum and Gallery

State Library of Queensland

International Print Triennial Society Krakow

and many of Canberra's public places


THE BLACK SEA city backdrop  2009 

relief-print, pigment, shellac on paper  H 417 cm x W 143 cm


THE BLACK SEA (installation view)  2009 

relief-print, pigment, shellac on paper



woodcut and watercolour   H 10 cm x W 10 cm


TEN COMMON MISTAKES (2 non-consecutive book illustrations) 2009     

relief-print and gouache on paper  H 18 x W 16 cm



paper stencil, relief-print, acrylic paint and ink on canvas 

H 35 cm x W 75 cm