DR CHRISTIAN THOMPSON AO was born in 1978, Gawler, South Australia (Bidjara People). Thompson is of Chinese-Australian, Anglo-Celtic, Norwegian and Sephardic Jewish heritage. In 2010, Thompson made history when he became the first Aboriginal Australian to be admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year history. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Fine Art), Trinity College, University of Oxford, UK; a Master of Theatre, Amsterdam School of Arts, Das Arts, The Netherlands; a Masters of Fine Art (Sculpture) and Honours (Sculpture), both RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia; and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. In 2015, he was mentored by performance artist Marina Abramovic.
Thompson has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, having been included in exhibitions such as ‘Australia’ at the Royal Academy for the Arts, London; ‘We Bury Our Own’, The Pitt Rivers Museum, SOLOS, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, Valencia Institute of Modern Art, Valencia, Spain; ‘The Other and Me’, The Sharjah Museum, United Arab Emirates, ‘Hijacked III’; QUOD Gallery, Derby, United Kingdom; ‘Shadow life’ Bangkok Art and Cultural centre, Bangkok, Thailand; and ‘The Beauty of Distance/ Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age’, 17th Biennale of Sydney. In 2018 he was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the visual arts as a sculptor, photographer, video and performance artist, and as a role model for young Indigenous artists.
Thompson’s work is held in major public institutions and private collections including: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands; The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane. A major survey exhibition of his work, Christian Thompson: Ritual Intimacy, curated by Charlotte Day and Hetti Perkins, toured throughout Australia from 2017–19.