Tessa was brought up in London and has a degree in Fine Art from Hornsey College of Art. She taught art in London, in Australia and for twenty five years in Oxford at Magdalen College School, one of the country’s leading schools. She moved to East Cornwall in 2006 to open Callington School of Art.
She has always enjoyed working in mixed media, combining paint and print. The Shipping Forecast pieces were first made in 2011 for an exhibition at Royal William Yard. They were inspired by the rhythm and beauty of the words, the general synopsis of sea area forecasts and coastal stations. The words are unique and so distinctive. In the choral work of Cecilia Mc Dowall they sound like poetry, spoken or sung they have rhythm, written they are visual poetry. Tessa uses the words not to be read in a conventional way but words to draw you into the picture, layers of textures fading in and out of the painted surface. The words disappear and reappear in colour tones within different sections of the painting, ideas that came to her after seeing ‘Third Party’ a video by Sam Taylor Wood where conversation fades in and out of earshot.