Essays and publications
Group exhibition Galerie Pompom, Sydney, Chris Aerfeldt statement 2018
I grew up in a family where we all wore masks - each for different reasons. My parents because they were traumatised Estonian war refugees – my father internalising his inner turmoil; and my mother doing her best to imitate the neighbours and be more Australian than the Australians.
When we appeared in public, suddenly the screaming and dramas stopped and we were transformed into the perfect family. I hated the pretence, and felt trapped into being a part of it.
Le Grand Manège de la Femme de Menage
Art Dans l’Air magazine, Anne Devailly, 2015 (français)
Il y a beaucoup de femmes, des ménagères dans les toiles de Chris Aerfeldt. Des femmes aux prises avec un quotidien terre-à-terre qu’elles parviennent à sublimer. Quand le plumeau prend des allures de baguette des fée…
‘Je trouve l’idée de mes tableaux dans la réalité qui m’entoure.’ A l’entendre et à voir d’un coup d’oeil rapide ses tableaux, on pourrait trouver cette explication simple et percutante: Chris Aerfeldt peint des femmes qui travaillent dans leur intérieur, des femmes qui souvent regardent le peintre, et affichent une sourire ou un regard amusé. Car après tout, comme a pu dire en sons temps un des Tontons flingeurs, ‘les taches ménagères ne sont pas sans noblesse…’ Tour est évidemment plus compliqué…
Solo exhibition Helen Gory Gallery at the Melbourne Art Fair 2012, Dr Ken Wach
Chris Aerfeldt’s compelling paintings strike a hidden chord - what you see is what you don’t get.
Her paintings home in on the fake promises, the yearning, the anxious wait, the hidden desires and the surface rituals of daily life – it’s all there.
Aerfeldt’s deftly handled paintings are tableaus of a type of underlying self-talk – a pictorial spill-out of everyday issues and earnest longings. She seems to sense or know that nobody in fact maps out their lives, carries out decisions or achieves aims innocently, independently, or without external influences. It is as though the female subjects of Aerfeldt’s paintings resist all this and brace themselves against external impositions.
The contemporary woman is besieged…
Aerfeldt - Painter
Artstate Magazine, Maureen Gordon, 2009
‘I am interested in evoking a sense of time in my work - a blurred sense of time and consciousness, where the past and present merge and collide, where memory and the present moment combine’ Aerfeldt
Aerfeldt wrote this about her Heav’n & Hell exhibition of 2004 - she was referring back into the past times of childhood. In 2008 as I watched the artist working on new paintings for the Wyer Gallery I began to think that the same sentiment still prevailed, though with a different significance, perhaps a vaster sense of time, a more massive import…
Heav’n & Hell
Solo exhibition, Helen Gory Galerie, Essay Edward Colless, 2004
Nothing happens in heaven. Heaven is beyond any narrative,beyond any scene. An annulling transcendence of all the strife and the pleasure and pain of history, heaven is the end of the story. In hell, on the other hand, everything happens. Its punishments are the spectacular repetition - infinite in scale, but infinitely repeated in the one undying moment - of all our excesses. Hell is too much of a good thing.
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