31 July 2019

Dave Court

Dave Court

Bachelor of Visual Arts, (Honours)

As the weather in Adelaide heats up and the city braces for the most jammed-packed festival month of the year, you may notice the sweet, sunny colour palette of artist Dave Court’s art start popping up around town.

A great honour for any Adelaide creative, the 27-year-old University of South Australia Visual Arts graduate won the coveted 2020 Adelaide Fringe Poster Design Competition in celebration of the Festival’s 60th anniversary, which will run next year from 14 February to 15 March.

Dave – who is now more comfortable referring to himself as an ‘artist’ – is adept at a multitude of forms of art including painting, designing, illustrating, photography, but it was his diamond design, ingeniously created using aerosol spray paint, which will act as a sparkling emblem for the diamond anniversary of the Adelaide Fringe.

“I’ve entered the Fringe poster competition several times before, but this time I kept it super simple, clean and designy, and also with zero digital design elements, which I think is a good signifier of my integration of art and design processes,” Dave says.

“It’s just a huge privilege and honour to be chosen. I think it will sink in properly when the artwork starts showing up on trams and bus stops, I’m really excited to work with the fringe team to deliver some cool stuff over the festival season.”

Describing his work as “varied, collaborative, accessible, experimental and technical” it’s clear Dave’s talents aren’t limited to just one thing, having tried his hand at everything from large-scale mural paintings, clothing labels and retail stores, creative director of Yewth Magazine, and venue design and the creation of immersive installations for SALA Festival and the Spin Off, Field Good, Laneway music festivals.

“I like bringing a multitude of influences to my work, and pushing myself to try and make things in different modes or media, which also keeps me from getting bored doing one thing all the time,” he says.

“I see working to create things that are a part of a larger event or venue as a way to get art in front of an audience that might not ordinarily engage with it – it’s something that isn’t in a gallery or specifically a ‘public art’ work – which I think there should be more of.

“It creates a more enjoyable and unique experience for attendees of a space and gives them something that they will remember.”

Dave says this desire for creativity in as many mediums as possible, was nurtured during his time at UniSA where he was afforded a lot of space and time try different media and ideas.

Adelaide Fringe Banner
Credit: Adelaide Fringe


Beastly Sea mural
‘Beastly Sea’ mural collaboration with Che Chorley, commissioned by Seawall Apartments, Glenelg, 2018.

“The teachers I had at the time, especially Christian Lock and Dr Paul Hoban, really pushed experimentation as a driving force of making things,” he says.

“I was able to use all the workshop facilities to try a range of different things which all feed into each other, glass making, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, printmaking, and photography.”

As a result, Dave has well and truly making a name for himself in the Adelaide arts and cultural scene, even joining the board of Renew Adelaide last year.

When asked about his involvement in Adelaide’s burgeoning industry, and developing platforms for new talent, he says it’s the people that matter.

Neon Forest, a late night immersive art/party zone
Neon Forest, a late night immersive art/party zone, made in collaboration with David Musch
for RCC Fringe, 2019. Photo by Daniel Marks.

“I think all of those kind of involvements are what it’s all about, being a part of a community and making things with my friends, and meeting people who have become my friends through making things with them,” he says.

“I like watching people be good at what they do, and doing what they love, whether that’s in music, art, fashion or whatever.”

“Being involved with all these different areas myself has informed my practice, whether it’s involving more photography in my artwork, learning how to document my work well or being approached to make music videos and artwork for musicians.

“I just recently sent copies of Yewth Mag to an artist in Kenya that I met painting murals here in Adelaide because he’s looking at starting his own art magazine there, which is sick, and I wouldn’t be able to do that unless I had this specific combination of background experience.”

‘City of Music’ mural
‘City of Music’ mural, 128 Hindley Street, 2019. Photo by Jarrod Knoblauch


A recent highlight for Dave has included his recent ‘City of Music’ large-scale mural project on the West facing wall of 128 Hindley Street, carried out in partnership with Music SA through the City of Adelaide, Music Development Office and UNESCO.

The stunning work of art involved painting the largest wall in the city with an abstracted story of Adelaide’s musical history, celebrating Adelaide as a designated UNESCO City of Music.

The project which spanned more than six months, including planning and preparation, was accompanied by a documentary – made by friend and frequent collaborator Lewis Brideson – that followed Dave as he interviewed iconic SA musicians and industry heavyweights to research for the mural.

He isn’t about to sit back and admire his work just yet, though, with many projects already in the pipeline to keep an eye out for, including involvement in the SALA festival, a new indoor mural at the National Motor Museum, an installation collaboration with Arlon Hall at the City Library, and a painting at Northern Sounds System.

Dave does periodically come across his work unassumingly, though.

“Sometimes I’ll go to someone’s house and they have a painting of mine up, or I’ll see someone wearing a tshirt that I made years ago that I had almost forgotten about, but it’s been a constant part of that person’s life on a daily basis, which is a great privilege and kind of intimate in a weird way,” he says.

“…And painting a big wall is kind of like that on a huge scale. There are how many hundreds of people that look at that painting every day on their commute, or out of their office window, which I hope brings some sort of joy or colour to their day.”

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