b.1989 in Harare
Helen Teede (b. 1988, Harare) is an abstract painter living and working in her home-country of Zimbabwe. Using the natural landscape as a point of departure, her work is an exploration of the ways in which the earth's surface can act as a teller of stories and symptom of circumstance.
Her research traces the history of mythology, folklore and magic, looking at how these ancient practices are deeply embedded in our relationship with the natural environment.
With this in mind, she spends periods of time immersed in nature, hiking, camping, going on archaeological digs, collecting objects and drawing. Before painting, canvases are sometimes left outdoors for several months to be marked by the rainfall of a specific area that is ultimately embedded into the background of her finished works.
Teede’s paintings build on the idea that as a Zimbabwean, to look into the future and move through the anguish of the past, a path can be found by exploring relationships with tradition both ancient and present, and by re-establishing a spiritual connection with the earth and with each other, no matter the colour of our skin. Themes of severance, nostalgia, displacement, and fractured identity are expressly acknowledged, together with a vision of reconciliation and integration that is both poetic and aspirational.
Teede holds a BFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, and an Honours in English Literature at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently doing her Masters in Fine Art at the Università Iuav di Venezia, Italy.
Her work has been exhibited globally, including exhibitions in Dubai, Paris, Harare, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and she recently completed a residency in Tel Aviv. She is currently exhibiting at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town.