Christopher Orchard's work is constructed from vignettes of contemplation and sometimes uncanny episodes of human behaviour. The artist's conceptual focus in recent work has been on the 'avatar' who is occasionally joined by transient characters who act as destabilising influences in the world. These narrative drawings contain the hall-marks of fine draughtsmanship in their composition, sure line and imaginative scope.
The textural shading that gives depth, contrast and tactile quality to the artist's figurative elements, brings out the materiality of the media with which he works, reinforcing a subtle paradox between imaginative construct and tangible form. The breadth and possibilities of meanings Orchard's work opens up, in narrative and technique, offer the viewer a multifaceted journey rather than any predictable outcome.
Orchard has been exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions for over 30 years and has been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Dobell Prize for Drawing (AGNSW). His previous roles include Head of Drawing at the Adelaide Central School of Art. The artist exhibits in major cities around Australia and in New York and his work is held in several collections, including the Art Gallery of South Australia, Grafton Regional Gallery, the Kedumba Drawing Award and Artbank. He held the esteemed title as Featured Artist in the South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA) in 2017.