Isabella Chydenius is a interdisciplinary artist based in Berlin and Helsinki.
Chydenius graduated from a Master of Fine Art degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, in April 2021, and has since located to Berlin after 15 years of living in Paris, London, Cape Town and LA.


Chydenius practice explores the night and underground nightclub culture as spaces of togetherness, momentary freedom and joy away from the heteropatriarchal square norms of the day. In her artistic research she explores the history of underground nightclubs as sites of resistance and draws attention to how they may serve as a catalyst for change in society through the dialogue between art, artists and socio-political movements. She is interested in the club space as a metaphor and abject, and approaches them as small microcosms within larger society. 

Her recent exhibitions Hide and seek and Notes on creating space; the potential of club corners specifically focus on the potential of darkness in club spaces that aim to be safer spaces.

Her practice combines mediums such as light, video, sound, text, photography, ripped clothes and found objects to create sculptures and immersive installations. Her work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Tokyo, New York, London, Copenhagen, Munich, Berlin, and Helsinki, and been supported by local and international art grants since 2015.

In 2023 the Stina Krooks Foundation rewarded her continuous artistic dedication with an award, and the Finnland-Institute in Berlin nominated her with the annual Visiting Art/ist Award. In April 2024 she received a 1-year Artist Working Grant by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, which supports her ongoing research and studio work.

Chydenius is a member of MUU Artists Association, Helsinki International Artists Association, the Helsinki-based contemporary art podcast collective ArtPod, and FLASH; the Finnish Light Art Society - with six selected works to be represented at the Best Light Art in Finland webbank.

For virtual or physical studio visits or any work / exhibition and portfolio inquiries please go to CONTACT.


 // CV

// Education

2019 - 2021    Michaelis School of Fine Art, MFA with Distinction
2018                 Michaelis School of Fine Art, Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art with Distinction
2008 - 2011    Istituto Marangoni Paris, Ecole Supérieure de Mode: Textiles and Women's- and        
                           Menswear Design, BA

// Additional courses and programs

2022                SHIFT 1-year mentorship program organised by the Finnish Art Agency
2014                 Frank Joubert Art School: Abstraction and Mixed Media
2014                 Michaelis School of Fine Art: Ceramics and experimental sculpture
2014                 Camberwell College of Art: Welding

// Grants

2024 Kulturfonden 1-Year  Artist Working Grant
2023 Stina Krooks Foundation
2023 Kulturfonden
2023 Nygréns Foundation
2023 The Finnish Cultural Foundation
2023 Föreningen Konstsamfundet
2022 City of Munich  Department of Art and Culture
2021 Arts Promotion Centre Finland
2021 The Paulo Foundation
2021 FRAME
2021 Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland
2020 Arts Promotion Centre Finland
2019 Jules Kramer Scholarship
2017 Kulturfonden
2016 Nygréns Foundation
2015 Art Promotion Centre Finland
2015 Kulturfonden
2015 Nygréns Foundation 

// Residencies

2022 SomoS Berlin Artist in Residence
2022 City of Munich Artist in Residence in cooperation with GEDOK
2021 SÍM Artist in Residence, Reykjavik, iceland

2017 East Side International / ESXLA, Los Angeles, California
2016 Arts Letters & Numbers Artist Residency, Averill Hill, New York
2015 Space Between Gallery Artist Residency, Cape Town, South Africa

// Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023 Zitadelle Museen Spandau - Galerie Historische Keller 
2023 Galleri Apoteket, Gottland, Sweden 
2023 Huuto Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2023 Finland-Institute in Berlin, Berlin, Germany
2022 Backhaus Projects, Berlin, Germany
2022 Liminal Locations, Galleria Snow, Berlin, Germany
2022 Undressing Events, Galerie GEDOK, Munich, Germany
2021 Master of Fine Art Examination Exhibition, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, South Africa
2017 Burnt down before you even get there. Silence Is Accurate gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2017 Commitment Issues, Creat Space, Helsinki, Finland
2017 All over but actually nowhere, Dalton Warehouse, Los Angeles, California
2016 Mindscapes, Creat Galleria, Helsinki, Finland
2016 Mielen Maisemia, Galleria Toivo, Klaukkala, Finland
2016 Minnen från framtiden, Hangö Public Library gallery, Finland
2016 Obscuresynthesis, collaboration with Silas Miami, AGOG gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2016 Evacuee, Space Between Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2016 Introspection, Snellman Sotheby's International, Helsinki, Finland
2015 A SPACE Gallery, Paintings from South Africa, Helsinki, Finland
2014 Bulevardi12, Helsinki, Finland
2014 Faces and Expressions, Hangö Public Library Gallery, Finland
2013 Music & Art Fundraiser Event for Afghanaid, Covent Garden, London, UK
2011 Isabella Chydenius R-t-W Fashion Show, Helsinki Fashion Week, Finland

// Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 Flughafen Tempelhof 100 Jahre - 100 Stunden Festival
2023 Offinina Neukölln, Neukölln 48 H Festival
2022 SomoS Gallery, Berlin, Germany 
2022 Der Palmenhaus, Munich, Germany 
2022 Untitled Miami, Alfa Gallery, Miami, USA
2021 Nordisk Salong, Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg, Sweden
2021 Death of Glitter, Cape Town, South Africa
2021 Oath Magazine VOL II launch exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa
2021 Premise, curated by Nathalie Viruly & Kerry Lee Chambers in collab with Joe Prussian Collective
2020 Women Artists to Watch, 1 out of 10 selected artist, AucArt, curated by GlobArt, London, UK
2020 Summer Salon, Nel Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2020 Confinement Archive, curated by María Arregui, virtual/online
2020 Pink's Not Dead, Apartment.vol in collab with The Fourth, Cape Town, South Africa
2020 RMB Turbine Art Fair, South Africa
2019 Sans, Open24hours gallery, Sans, Cape Town, South Africa
2019 Cubicle Series, Everard Read / CIRCA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2019 Third Thursday, Arts Letters and Numbers, Averill Park, New York
2019 Kunsthal Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition, Copenhagen, Denmark
2018 Michaelis School of Fine Art Graduation Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa
2017 Mind's I, curated by Anne Harris and Keith Tolch, Dalton Warehouse, Los Angeles, California
2017 Plus One, curated by soft. core. at the Museum of Broken Relationships, Los Angeles, California
2017 Everard Read / CIRCA Winter exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa
2016 100 Acts for Gender Equality -campaign, Helsinki Town Hall, Helsinki, Finland
2016 Defiance, Delphian Gallery, London, UK
2016 Reverie, AGOG Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016 Sun Ship, Auction to support Arts Letters & Numbers, Wilmer Jenning Gallery, New York
2016 Winter Collection, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2016 Art of Basware, Music Hall gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2016 Tokyo International Art Fair, Tokyo, Japan
2016 Metamorphosis, Caisa Galleria, Helsinki, Finland
2015 Cassiopeia(Constallation), Arts Letters & Numbers, Averill Park, New York
2015 Welcome to my garden, Space Between Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2015 WINTER, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2015 NEVERMIND THE M*SS, A SPACE Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2014 STOMACH#2, Paintings, Arch 402 Gallery, London, UK
2011 Helsinki Design Week, Style To Declare –exhibition, Helsinki, Finland
2011 Marmara Fashion Forum Fashion Show and Interview in Elle Magazine, sponsored By Elle Magazine. Paris representative, Istanbul, Turkey
2011 Istituti Marangoni, École Superieure de Mode – Graduate Show, Paris, France

// Performances

2020 Managing Expectations, Art Pod Instagram Live Art Festival
2020 City of Ladies, in collaboration with Balindile kaNgcobo, sound by Kim Windvogel, Everard Read CIRCA gallery for Investec Cape Town Art Fair Gallery Night
2019 Rape Memorial III, performed with Balindile kaNgcobo at Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town
2018 #DidNotAskForIt, a continuous performance taking place all over where Chydenius walked around documented the locations of personal encounters of sexual harassment.
2018 Rape Memorial II, Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town, South Africa
2017 Anything you can do, I can do bleeding -performance at STOMACH #3, Gallery 402, London, UK
2016 Lock In, Creat Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2016 Individe (us) -performance piece exhibited at Objekti Festival and The Night of the Arts at the Helsinki Festival, Espoo and Helsinki
2016 Rape Memorial I, Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town, South Africa

// Curatorial Projects

2019 It's rude to stare but you're welcome to see, Cape Town, South Africa
2016 Nevermind the M***, A Space, Helsinki, Finland

// Public Exhibitions and Works

2022 Out of the box - participatory performance, Night of the Arts, Helsinki Festival
2017 100 Boobs - installation, Night of the Arts, Helsinki Festival
2017 The Crowd -installation for Maiden LA, Los Angeles, California
2015 Helsinki Festival; Night of the Arts – Trash People: A sculptural public art installation, Helsinki
2014 Helsinki Arts Festival - Night of the Arts; Future Forest public largescale environmental installation, Old Church Park, Helsinki, Finland
2013 Short Film “Impiety” with Sophia Harding, costume designer, London, UK
2011 Simone Magazine Paris, contribution with Nuit de la Mode show pieces, October 2011
2011 Stella Magazine Copenhagen, contribution with welded metal Birdcage skirt piece, September 2011

// Participation in other artists performances

2019 The Lithuanian Pavilon, 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy 
2018 Hiroko Tsuchimoto, Collective Emotions and Performativity, Johannesburg, South Africa
2017 Ivan Navarro and Courtney Smith, The Ring, Los Angeles, US
2014 Ian Giles, Clay Meditation, London, UK