Tessa Houghton creates dreamlike ethereal landscapes that are infused with light, texture, and infinite possibilities. Inspired by nature with its inherent symbolism and contrasts, the paintings attempt to explore themes of fragility and strength, transience and endurance, death and renewal. The most recent work pays homage to childhood and family and explores the strong emotional attachments we have with particular places and the memories that go with them.
‘I believe in the power of suggestion and my paintings tend to hover between abstraction and figuration. The resulting images are ambiguous rather than definitive. I like the idea that they will trigger a memory or a sensation by being recognisable or familiar in some way and the final interpretation is left open to the viewer.’
Paint and other mediums are applied in a variety of methods so that intense layers of texture contrast with areas of smooth subtlety.
Whilst light and depth are key components, colour and form are simplified to capture the true essence of the subject matter. Impulsive and gestural mark making is tempered with controlled brush strokes. The painting process is balanced by observation and intuition. Surfaces are scratched into and paint layered on, then scraped away to hide or reveal what is underneath.
Since receiving a BA(hons) in Fine Art from Liverpool John Moores University in 1998 Tessa’s work has been exhibited and collected extensively throughout the UK and internationally including places such as Barcelona, New York, LA, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
After 12 years of living and working in Barcelona she is happily settled in the North of England.
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