Chris Aerfeldt was born in Adelaide, Australia, to Estonian refugee parents

She explains, ‘Everyone has a complicated childhood, and for me it was growing up in a strict family where I felt squashed, voiceless and invisible.’ 

As a hypersensitive and nervous eleven year old, Aerfeldt escaped to her father’s shed and started making oil paintings on scraps of cardboard. It was her first step towards liberation.

Growing up, Aerfeldt detested dolls because, deep inside, she knew they represented the ‘perfect child’. It was a trap.

‘Procession’ 97 x 250 cm, oil on linen; plastic, 2002

She had hushed-up dreams hidden inside her, screwed tightly into little balls, waiting to escape.

Settling for mundane ‘ordinariness’ was her greatest fear

Despite much family resistance (they were pushing law studies), she made it to art school and, via a long and circuitous route, finally began her artistic adventures, eventually leading her to the other end of the world.

Installation view, Galerie Pompom, Sydney, 2018

After completing her Masters of Fine Art at Chelsea College in London, thanks to a prestigious Samstag Scholarship, she now divides her time between Montpellier in the south of France, and Barcelona.

Aerfeldt is a visual storyteller - she depicts the heroine’s journey, extending beyond the everyday and into the heart of great mysteries.




Growing up with refugee parents who have lived through trauma (and are still trying to deal with it), gives you a different kind of upbringing.

Our home was highly regimented; rules and routines came first. As a naturally nervous and hypersensitive child, I felt unseen and unheard. For my own survival I had to comply with whatever was set down, but this meant little space to explore or express my own identity. Not that I registered any of this consciously - I didn’t even feel that I had an identity. 

‘Red, red heart’ oil on linen, 200x175cm; ‘Floating Kitchen’ 40x40cm (Muxart Museum 2018)


Born in Adelaide, South Australia;

Lives and works between Barcelona in Spain and Montpellier, France



2007 MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design, London

2001 Bachelor of Visual Art (Hons), Adelaide Central School of Art, South Australia

1998 New York Studio School Drawing Marathon at Adelaide Central School of Art

1981 Bachelor of Education (Art Teaching) University of South Australia



2018 The Heroine’s Journey, Muxart Espai d’Art i Creació Contemporanis, Martorell, Spain

2017 L’art en Boite, Ville de Beziers, France

2017 Kölner-List Art Fair, Cologne

2016 La Vie en Rose, Castang Art Project, Perpignan, France

2012 Be Prepared, Helen Gory Galerie at the Melbourne Art Fair

2009 Silver threads and golden needles (cannot mend this heart of mine),Wyer Gallery, London

2006 Flying Visitation, Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne, Australia

2004 heav’n & hell, Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne, Australia



2018 Bad Mannerism, Galerie Pompom, Sydney

2014 Melbourne Art Fair, This Is No Fantasy, Melbourne

2013 Volta Art Fair, Basel, with Berloni Gallery, London

2011 Home Stories, Adelaide Central Gallery and The Migration Museum, Adelaide

2011 Helen Gory Galerie at MOP Projects, Sydney

2010 Melbourne Art Fairwith Helen Gory Galerie

2008 Chris Aerfeldt & Elinor Evans(two person show), Wyer Gallery, London

2007 Recent Graduates Exhibition, The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London

2007 Future Map, The University of the Arts Gallery, London

2007 MA Graduate Exhibition, Chelsea College of Art & Design, London 

2006 I found myself in a strange place, Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide

2006 National Works on Paper exhibition, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery 

2006 ABN AMRO 2006 Emerging Artist Award, ANZ Building Melbourne

2005 Luminous Two, Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne

2005 Whyalla Art Prize, Finalist, Whyalla Regional Gallery

2003 SALA Festival Exhibition, Art Gallery of South Australia

2003 Wit and Wisdom, Beauty and Truth, University of Adelaide

2003 Eleven, Cube Contemporary Art, Adelaide

2003 White Lies Beneath, Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne

2003 Hatched, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth

2003Adelaide Contemporary, Eva Breuer Gallery, Sydney

2002 Melbourne International Art Fair, Melbourne, with Cube Contemporary Art

2002 Synthetic Whispers, Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne

2002 If love fits, wear it, twinBEE Studios, Adelaide

2001 Lo-Sheen, Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide

2001 7UP, Studio 91B,Adelaide

2001 Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition, Adelaide 

2000 Nocturnal Workings, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide



University of the Arts London, work for permanent collection

Artwork appearing in Carla Cametti  SBS Australia TV series, 2009

Artwork appearing in short film ‘Hannah Rosenthal’2017, director Naomi Lisner, 2017



2011 Eran Svigos Award for best visual art at the Adelaide Fringe Festival for Home Stories

2007 Anne & Gordon Samstag Visual Arts Scholarship to undertake MFA at Chelsea College of Art, London

2003 Project Assistance Grant, Arts SA

2002 Joint winner in category ‘Rising Stars’, ‘The Advertiser’ Oscarts 28/12/02

2001 Joint winner ‘Best new talents’, ‘The Advertiser’ Oscarts, 22/12/01

2000 Scholarship for full time studies, Adelaide Central School of Art



Charles Saatchi, London

David Roberts, London

Robert Devereux, London

University of the Arts London

Art Gallery of South Australia

Artbank, Australia

The Faulding Collection, Australia

Stillwell Management Consultants, South Australia



2018 Ten things to do this weekend, Sydney Morning Herald, May 3

2016 Chris Aerfeldt: Surréalisme et féminisme en clair-obscur, Hérault Juridique et Economique

2015 Le Grand Manège de la Femme de Ménage, Art Dans L’Air, juillet/août

2012 Chris Aerfeldt, Artist Profile magazine, Issue 19, 2012, pp 56-59

2012 The Schtick, S29-09, video interview with Helen Gory 

2011 Art Interprets History, John Neylon, The Adelaide Review, March

2011 Home Stories Adelaide Central Gallery, Kelli Rowe, Kryztoff Reviewing Adelaide [online] 13 

2011 Back to School with Medeia Cohan-Petrolino, Rise Art [online] 15 August 2011

2011 Profile: Helen Gory Galerie, Australian Art Review, July/August 2011

2011 Helen Gory Galerie in Sydney, Art Monthly, September 2011, p.55

2011 Saatchi online artist of the day, 16 Feb 2011

2010 Chris Aerfeldt, Ten Words and One Shot [online] 24 May 2010

2010 Upscale fair; scaled-down range, Robert Nelson, The Age, 6/08/10

2010 Fine Display of Optimism, Edward Colless, The Australian, 6/08/102009

2009 Stylist MagazineLondon, Issue 1, 7 October 

2009 Christine Aerfeldt: Painter, Maureen Gordon, Artdate, March

2008 Christine Aerfeldt & Elinor Evans at the Wyer Gallery, Art Sleuth (online), 12/12/08

2008 Postcard from London & Montpellier, Artstate Magazine, No 23 December 2008, 

2008 Greener Pastures, Catherine Bauer, Adelaide Matters, April 2008

2007 Market News, Colin Gleadell, The Telegraph, 18/12/07

2007 Investing in Art, The One Show, BBC1, 14/11/07

2007 Best in show, Helen Sumpter, Time Out London, 13/6/07 p.46

2007 In search of the next best thing, Simon Davis, The Evening Standard, London, 23/5/07

2007 Close-up: Christine Aerfeldt, Artists & Illustrators, London, Aug 2007 p.88

2006 Emerging artists find fresh expression, Adam Dutkiewicz, The Independent Weekly, Sept 2-8 

2006 Two Samstag Scholars about to take flight, Stephanie Radok, Art Gallery Guide, Nov/Dec

2006 Young talent time, Margot Osborne, The Advertiser, 14/10/06 pg 4-5

2006 Arts Breakfast, Interview, Radio Adelaide, 2/9/06

2006 Cheeky tweak to realism, Patrick McDonald, The Advertiser, 25/8/06

2006 World Art, Catherine Bauer, Adelaide Matters, June 2006

2006 Two schools of thought, Tim Lloyd, The Advertiser , 4/2/06

2005Festival full of fine moments,Wendy Walker, The Advertiser, 13/8/05

2005 The memorable: ephemeral, Samstag Catalogue Essay, Wendy Walker, November 2005

2005 Samstag Scholarships for SA artists, Helpmann Academy Update, Issue 49 

2005 Put six artists in a room and look what you get, Patrick McDonald, The Advertiser, 23/7/05

2005 Profiled in Art Almanac, Dec/Jan2006 Issue, 2006

2004 heav’n & hell, Edward Colless, Catalogue essay, May 2004

2004 Hell’s Angels, Yen Magazine, April/May 2004

2004 Preview, Misha Merz, Imprint Vol 39, No 1, Autumn 04

2002 Whispering among the art, Rachelle Unreich, Melbourne Herald Sun, 20/02/02

2001Galleries come alive, Wendy Walker, The Advertiser, 13/08/01

2001 Emerging Artists, Adelaide Matters, July 2001

2001 Stateline –7 UP’, ABC TV, 3/08/01

2001 Snapshot - The Graduates, ABC TV, 15/3/01

2000 Moments of Surprise, Wendy Walker, The Advertiser 12/3/01

2000Successful Collision of Old and New, Sheila Bryce, Helpmann Academy Update, Issue 27



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