Chris Aerfeldt is an award-winning Australian born artist of Estonian parents now based in Montpellier and Barcelona.
She is the recipient of a scholarship to Adelaide Central School of Art, South Australia, as well as the highly prized Samstag Scholarship to undertake an MFA at Chelsea College of Art in London.
Her work has been exhibited with galleries in Australia, the UK and France, and acquired by private and public collections, including Charles Saatchi, David Roberts, The University of the Arts London, Artbank and The Art Gallery of South Australia.
INTERVIEW with CHris aerfeldt
Q: why did you become an artist?
I grew up feeling invisible and overlooked.
As a hyper-sensitive, anxious child, and craving to feel 'good enough', I tried to be the best at everything (school, art, singing, tennis). I thought that great accomplishments were the only goals of life. However, inside I was churning with emotions and thoughts, so in primary school started making oil paintings in my dad's shed to express what I couldn't say out loud. That's why for me, images speak louder and faster than words.
With pictures I could transform all that was not right in my world. I could deal with some of the thoughts teeming in my head by turning them into paintings.
For my subjects I took whatever pictures I could lay my hands upon and adapted them for my own purposes - landscape photos from our kitchen calendars, old paintings from our set of encyclopaedias, female characters I found in the newspapers.
Q: how do you choose your subjects?
I am drawn to 'ordinary' and everyday subjects - not things that are inherently 'special'. Going deeper is what I do naturally - possibly to the extent of overthinking and overanalysing. It is much more satisfying for me to take an object or idea that we don't consider very important, and transform it into something of great significance; almost otherworldly.
I transform my characters into heroines, and set them off on epic journeys (like in history and mythology paintings).
Q: Why do you paint?
The act of painting is one of love and care.
For me, it is working to repair something in life that needs fixing, looking at it carefully and sympathetically, wanting to make a better world.
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