Christopher Zanko is an early career artist from Austinmer, south of Sydney, NSW Australia.
By carving and chiseling line and pattern, Zanko nods to the production qualities of the print – the play with negative and positive space and the dynamic between thick line and planar shapes. The printmaking quality suggests the multiple, much as the buildings selected are houses of a type, reproduced with variation across suburbs. The drafted line, textured mark and dramatic shadow are synthesised into a language that suggests the architectural rendering of the mid-century modern.
An initial drafted drawing is made on the MDF surface. Then there is the introduction of tools that carve into this surface, responding to the textured veneers of these homes. This literal carving out of the structure brings qualities of process work and time to Zanko's subjects. He has selected these buildings for their formal qualities and their persistent presence. They are sculptural entities in the landscape, vulnerable to changing circumstance and to future augmentation or demolition. To carve is to set an image down with a level of density that ensures permanence, whether the existing structure remains or is destroyed.
Zanko graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Arts, Wollongong University with Distinction in Painting (BCA). He was a winner of the 2016 Gongcrete Art Prize and a finalist in the 2016 Gosford Art Prize and the 2015 Lloyd Rees Memorial Youth Art Award. He has shown in numerous group exhibitions including at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Project Contemporary Art Space, Wollongong. Umbra is his first solo show at The Egg & Dart.