Monstrous hybrid beings appear against acid skies and barren landscapes, creating surreal, otherworldly scenes that sit uncomfortably between nightmare and dream. Nature Interrupted, Celina Teague’s fifth solo show at Kristin Hjellegjerde gallery, takes a deep dive into the dark underbelly of our planet’s biosphere where animals and plants are overcome by human detritus. They appear futuristic, unwholesome, alarming, but at the same time, Teague’s fervent colour palette commands presence: we are challenged not only to look, but to face up to the reality of what we see.
Teague’s artistic practice is, in part, an expression of her own guilt and responsibility in relation to not only environmental issues, but also political and humanitarian crises. She listens to the news and various podcasts as she paints, allowing the information to filter through onto the canvas so that each composition possesses a raw sense of urgency. ‘I paint instinctively. It always involves an element of risk, which I find both liberating and frightening. If I painted on a different day or even at a different hour, the result would be completely different,’ she says.