Interiors: See inside this Camden artist’s retreat
PUBLISHED: 17:49 07 August 2015 | UPDATED: 18:14 10 August 2015
Ahead of her London exhibition, painter Celina Teague shows us around her Camden home, a serene location compared to her action-packed paintings of global atrocities.
Take a wander around Celina Teague’s current exhibition, I think therefore I # and you might expect her Camden home to be as frenetic, bold and arresting as her paintings.
The colourful collection, currently on show in Wandsworth, draws on shocking news stories which have made an impact on social media – from the Charlie Hebdo shooting, to the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria.
But the four-storey Georgian house which Teague recently renovated with her husband, Dom, is a far more serene affair.
“We wanted our home to feel calm – a place to retreat into,” the painter says. “It would have been a bit heavy going if the house had a similar feel to my paintings.
“Having said that, if I lived alone, the house might have ended up a little more eccentric. Dom’s more minimalist so I always kept him in mind when doing the design. The place needed to reflect both of us.”
She may have shown a little restraint in her choices, but the property still has plenty of quirky features that hint at its artistic owner.
The couple’s open-plan bedroom on the top floor, for example, includes a zig-zag floored bathroom, which is only divided from the sleeping area by a partition.
“We wanted the house to be as open as possible, so we got rid of a lot of walls,” explains Teague. “In our bedroom we also removed the ceiling, which allowed us to create a loft-type space with plenty of light.”
Clever storage features heavily throughout the property, with an entire wall in the couple’s bedroom/bathroom made up of bespoke asymmetrical shelving.
“Basically anywhere we could make space for storage we did, but since cupboards aren’t the most attractive things, I tried to play around with design options, either turning the storage into a design feature or concealing it as well as possible.”
Teague and her husband, who have a 16-month-old daughter, chose a deep blue for their kitchen, which sits on the first floor in an open plan living/dining area.
“We thought about going for a white kitchen, but then decided on this blue. I’m so glad we did – I love it. We’ve used a similar colour on the walls of the snug and the second bathroom. “In fact, there are different shades of blue throughout the house. I never realised I was quite such a fan of the colour. It’s very peaceful to be surrounded by it.”
Teague has her own studio in a separate building at the end of the garden, which, she says, has made being a working mum easier.
“There is no way I could have put together the work for this exhibition had I been traipsing off to my old studio in Shoreditch,” she explains. “I needed every spare minute in there and being able to work after putting my daughter to bed was a lifesaver. It’s also great to have my own place where I can make a total mess. I can’t wait to get my daughter her own easel one day.”
Teague embraced the process of designing the rooms of the property, and likens it to painting.
“When painting you have to make sure everything flows and hangs together, and it’s the same when designing a room. I was very lucky to have a fantastic builder, Andre, who made the whole thing so much easier. I would sketch my designs on scraps of newspaper, and he was so good at interpreting those ideas. We’re both slightly bonkers and made a great team.”
I think there for I #
Teague embarked on her latest exhibition, I think therefore I #, after finding herself unable to tune out of the constant stream of chilling visuals that flood social media following global atrocities.
Her colourful compositions, that belie their dark undertone, explore the way news is gathered and conveyed today, how we consume and react to it and the effectiveness of ’Twitter activism’.
The works question whether tweeters including Michelle Obama made a real difference when they tweeted #BringBackOurGilrls, following the kidnap of 276 Nigerian school girls and what happens to global political and social problems after we stop hashtagging these stories.
The exhibition runs until September 5 at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, 533 Old York Road, Wandsworth.
Visit kristinhjellegjerde.com or call 020 8875 0110 for more information.