Tessa Alexander is an artist and art educator based in Trinidad and Tobago with a background in Fashion Design and an MA in Cultural studies. Tessa chooses to primarily work in watercolour as she views the marginalisation of this medium problematic as watermedia has been used for centuries by women across the globe including areas from which her ancestors came. Her use of watercolour therefore serves as homage to that history and a defiance of the canonical hierarchy of mediums. Watercolor additionally is fast drying and the vibrant colours achieved by layering pure pigment is complementary to Tropical conditions.
Tessa is drawn to imagery that captures everyday life particularly those aspects that are taken for granted or seen as mundane with particular emphasis on the woman’s place in the society. She creates pieces that are layered in meaning using loose washes and layers of colour which borrow from her background in textiles and adding to the composition subtle references to power dynamics and identity which may not immediately be noticeable. Her work blends abstraction with figurative as she prefers to use fine detailing (homage to her mixed heritage) around her subject while leaving undeveloped areas that remain imperfect, raw adding another layer of humanity to the piece.