In 1960 architect Robin Boyd wrote critically about the “satisfaction with veneer and cosmetic effects” he found in Australian suburbs.

In Heretofore Christopher Zanko finds great value in the shifting textures and features of mid-20th century homes. Blond brick, aggregate, masonry veneer, stucco; his surfaces remind us about the facades applied during this period in Australian architecture. As a travelling artist and musician, Zanko photographs and collects examples along well known routes. We see the variance in character from inner Melbourne suburbs to the New England highway or when travelling up the Pacific coast before landing in South East Queensland.

Zanko draws our attention to the everyday beauty available when a contained form is gilded with decorative variation. The homes in Heretofore have become personal markers of life on the road – revisited, remembered and transformed through the act of painting. This work is an expanding record and exploration of both the vulnerability and resilience of this design era in the Australia landscape.

Born in 1992 in Wollongong, Christopher Zanko was a 2019 finalist in the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Still Life Award at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. His work is held in important collections including Wollongong Art Gallery and the University of Wollongong.