19 FEBRUARY - 20 MARCH 2021
Characterful, vibrant animals and bold slogan text combine on the canvas to create arresting imagery that simultaneously seduces and confronts the viewer. For her forthcoming solo show Money and Fairy Tales at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery Berlin, Portugal-based artist Celina Teague continues her exploration of climate change and environmental issues in relation to the information and imagery that we consume through media sources.
The exhibition borrows its title from Greta Thunberg’s speech at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in 2019, whilst several of the paintings repurpose the slogans of other young activists in both a celebration of their efforts, and a critique of the adoption of language as an image without deeper consideration for the message that it conveys. By reframing these familiar phrases of text within a painted image, Teague rebels against rapid digital consumption and invites us to engage in a deeper kind of contemplation. Whilst the artist admits that many of these most recent works appear confrontational, she does not subscribe to the idea of didacticism. Her artistic practice is, in part, an expression of her own personal sense of responsibility and guilt: ‘When I heard Greta give her speech at the summit, it was a moment of reckoning. I felt like she was addressing me personally. I used to think that climate issues were the fault of my parents’ generation but I realised that it is my generation who are the worst because we had all of the facts at our fingertips.’ Teague is interested, primarily, in how art can contribute to these kinds of conversations, and offer fresh perspectives on incomprehensible statistics and unrelatable media jargon.