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Tess Williams (b.1985, London).
Through materiality, process and form, Tess Williams’ work explores what a painting can be beyond its frontal surface. She tests how far she can push her works toward textiles, collage or installation, without them ceasing to exist as ‘paintings’. Whilst constantly challenging the boundaries of the traditional picture frame, Tess aims to continually reference the history of painting as a medium.
Exploring how folds, creases and layers within the materials can not only act as a form of mark making, but also how they can reference bodily states and sensations. She responds to the sensual immediacy of these painterly transformative elements, and their effect on our experience of materiality with its capacity to suggest beyond itself.
The initial stages of the paintings are made horizontally on the floor. She walks on them, sits on them, becoming physically immersed in them as the finished paintings begin to emerge.
Each piece of work is constantly in flux from start to finish. A painting may have taken on many different forms in the studio before it is ever exhibited. Restless about the outcome - paintings are ripped up, sewn back together, altered completely, allowing room for failure, eventually evolving to become a final piece.
In a world where we can have anything quickly, and in our urban environment of speeded-up, hyper-information technology, the slow manual labour and intensive work that goes into many of Tess’s works is important to how they function as paintings: Trial and error, patience, and slowing down to appreciate the engaging physical and tactile aspects of painting – not just the visual.

Tess graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 with a Masters in Fine Art. Her work has since been exhibited at London galleries including Charlie Smith London, Griffin Gallery, The Dot Project, Unit 1 Gallery and at Galerie L’Inssable, Paris and Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt. She lives and works in London