Lost Between

During the lengthy 2021 COVID lockdown, my friend Luke and I would meet weekly for a good long walk. Restricted to our Illawarra LGA, a narrow strip of land between the imposing sandstone escarpment and the vast Pacific Ocean, we started as a means of staying in touch with each other, but soon our walks became something more. They also led us to an informal rediscovery of our community.

Our aim was to start at a different beach and walk up to where the houses finished in the bushy foothills of the escarpment. Along these walks we would zigzag through the suburbs letting the layouts of the streets lead the way. As a teenager I had walked many of these streets getting to different skateparks, friends’ houses and parties.

‘’Lost Between’ is my response to the stillness we passed by on these walks, as well as my attempt to find moments of certainty in an area that is going through an immense rate of socio-economic and architectural change. I understand nothing lasts forever but am drawn to the fact that many (or most) of the houses and gardens in my locale and the wider community are becoming ghosts or echoes of what I associated with for so long.

Garden plant and shrub cut-outs act separately and collectively as cultivated natural elements connected with the houses in the larger works. They refer to the symbiotic relationship of plants and homes that has developed over time. The windows in the larger works in this collection have fully drawn awnings or blinds: blocking both the outdoors and indoors from each other. I see this as a metaphor for the barriers so many of us have raised over the past two years of lockdowns, and a sense of internal focus, opting to withdraw to our own private universes.

Christopher Zanko, June 2022