In her art, Zorka Černjak is recording her childhood experiences which, together with the people who defined her, contributed to her formation. She is searching for various techniques and styles. Her work falls into the categories of sculpture and ceramics as well as drawing. Her drawings are playful, her motifs are cheerful, and her works celebrate the beauty of our lives in the various ways which have been woven into our childhood.
Alenka Černelič Krošelj, Lecturer of Art History, Ethnologist and Cultural Anthropologist
Zorka Černjak nee SEMEC, was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Professional Art Training: BA – Fine Art RMIT University, Melbourne
Solo Exhibitions: 1995 RMIT University Exhibition Space, Melbourne
1996 Bank Street Gallery, South Melbourne
Group Exhibitions: 1996 A Cultural Exhibition “Bridge”, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1997 Expression of Togetherness Slovenian Association – Eltham VIC
1985-1990 Yearly Exhibitions at Rotary Club of Camberwell Rotary Club of Kew
Rotary Club of Coburg
Rotary Club of Box Hill
Major Awards: Best Oil on Canvas 1997, Exhibition of Togetherness Eltham, VIC
Numerous Awards and Highly Commended at School Exhibitions
Festivals and Rotary Club Exhibitions
“My works are records from my early childhood till today. It is the fundamental beauty of the earth, its people, its animals, the events of time, the traditions, the history, the strict Catholic upbringing, the stories I was told, that inspired and drew me to create my art.
I have loved to draw and paint ever since I can remember. My school teacher Nikolaj Prestor, Impressionist, inspired and encouraged me to paint since early school age.
I spent many hours after school in his studio drawing and painting. He once told me ‘If you can draw a horse, you can be called an artist’. Since then I love to include an image of a horse in my works.
My parents never encouraged me to paint. Later on, they were quite opposed to my painting and my teacher’s constant asking that I should attend art school.
I never attended art school in Slovenia.
I started to create art later on, when I moved to Australia. Here, in totally new surroundings, I was inspired by the beauty of this country and many great Australian artists. They still inspire me today, my favourite being Arthur Boyd.
I love to explore as many styles and mediums as possible. I never stay long with one style.
The stories of Christian traditions inspired me to create a series of Christian paintings and drawings, including the 14 Stations of the Cross in ceramic for the outdoor area of Slovenian Mission Sts Cyril and Methodius in Kew.
The influence of Slovenian culture and its heritage is in many of my works. The most evident is in the series The road to Kostrevnica. Slovenian folk stories, memories from the long walks through the forest to my Grandparents inspired me to create these works.”