Tessa Alexander was born in 1969 in Trinidad & Tobago, where she now lives and works as an artist. Her passion for painting started at an early age, but at the time, becoming a painter was not considered to be an acceptable profession. She chose a career in design and in 1986 she completed her studies in Fashion Design at International Academy of Merchandising and Design and then started her own fashion label Basic Necessities, Gypsy and limn’ casuals which she ran for approx.12 years.
Tessa held her first art exhibit in 1997 at the Creators Gallery in Port of Spain and her show was well received by her circle of supporters. Since then she has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Trinidad, Jamaica and India and grown international following.
Tessa’s art is inspired by her surroundings; everyday people caught in moments of solitude and familiar spaces. She highlights recognisable symbols of Trinidadian society; the chattel house, the carnival reveler, pouie trees, the central savannah and well-known street corners. She also draws inspiration from the land, evidenced in the textures and bright tropical hues so prevalent in the Caribbean, which permeate her paintings.
In 2013, She traveled to India and found inspiration in the energy of the people and the beauty of the ancient architecture. The juxtaposition of people with the buildings prompted a meditation on the transience of life; this is a recurring theme in her recent work.
As a self-taught artist, Tessa exhibits freedom and experiments with different techniques and media. She paints in both watercolour and oil, sometimes on handmade paper or with an added textural element of collage in her work. Her art has a certain degree of abstraction, and she usually paints a suggested human presence, obscuring or detailing facial features as she deems necessary.
Her work has evolved throughout her artistic journey and continues to develop. She is now working on an exciting new series of sculptures in wood.
“I am fascinated by culture, architecture and nature. In my fashion design work, I have always brought these elements into my pieces and now I do so with my paintings. In the creative process, I try to see things from a fresh perspective, almost as if I am seeing it for the first time. I am drawn to things that are taken for granted or neglected, seen as “everyday” or boring, and from those things I create beautiful paintings that make the viewer stop and notice things that would otherwise have been ignored.
I work primarily in watercolour as I love the fluidity and unpredictability of the medium. I also utilize elements of collage and handmade papers into some of my pieces and I also work in water miscible oils.
Now I paint as often as I can, experiment on the side with sculpture and wood work and teach art to children of all ages.
Tessa’s artwork is now available online on www.goglobalart.com.
2014 | “India Revisited” Trinidad and Tobago Art Society
2013 | “Up Close and Impersonal” Trinidad and Tobago Art Society.
2012 | “Discovery” Trinidad and Tobago Art Society
2011 | “General Admission” Trinidad and Tobago Art Society
2008 | “Urban Paradise” Horizons Art Gallery. Trinidad
2006 | “Rethinking Landscape” Horizons Art Gallery, Trinidad
2005 | “Sanskrit” High Square Art Gallery, Port of Spain, Trinidad
2004 | “Legacy” Horizons Art Gallery, Port of Spain, Trinidad
2013 | “MILAP” Azad Bhavan Art Gallery, ICCR, New Delhi India
2012 | “Season of Renewal” National Gallery of Jamaica
2011 | “Women in Art” Trinidad and Tobago’s National Museum
2008 | “3 IN ONE” In2Art Gallery, Port of Spain, Trinidad
2007 | “Galvanise Project” Port of Spain, Trinidad
2007 | “CARIFESTA” National Stadium, Trinidad
2007 | “Rhythms of Life” Horizons Art Gallery, Port of Spain
2007 | “The Journey” IF House, Port of Spain
2000 | “Images of North Africa” Art Creators Gallery, Port of Spain
1997 | “Changing Body” Art Creators Galley, Port of Spain.
PUBLICATIONS & PRESS
- http://legacy.guardian.co.tt/archives/2006-03-22/features3.html (Rethinking Landscape)