TESSA FARMER
“Remember the secret world of the child? Remember the fascination and fantasy, the
intensity of focus and the ferocity of feeling? This is the place that Tessa Farmer tries to
take you back to. She leads you past the polished surfaces of mundane perception into
miniature realms that normally might not have been noticed. Her tiny scenarios of scuttling
creatures awaken a childlike curiosity.

You peer through the apertures that she opens in the imagination. But don’t expect to
discover some lost Eden. Farmer’s microscopic creatures, intricately crafted from filaments
of tree root and fragments of dead insects, are macabre hybrids. They indulge in all sorts
of perverse antics. Behind the surfaces of natural beauty lies a savage Boschian world.

Farmer creates a reflection in miniature of our society. She shows us its fragility and its
ferocity, its poetry and its repulsion, its beauty and its brutality. Damien Hirst did something
like this with his dead animals. But if Hirst is Francis Bacon in 3-D then Farmer is probably
Albrecht Dürer. The same intense scrutiny seems to underlie the fantasies played out by
her tiny desiccated insects. The drama lies in the detail of these miniature works.”

                          -- Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times Newspaper


Education

2002 - 2003
        Linacre College, University of Oxford
        Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
        MFA Fine Art

1997 - 2000
        St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford
        Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
        BFA Fine Art (Hons) Class I.

1996 - 1997
        Bournville College of Art and Design.
        BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design


Exhibitions

Future

2008          Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York (solo)

2008          Tatton Park Biennial


Solo Shows

2007 - 2008    Little Savages, Natural History Museum, London

2007         Infestation, Assembly:Art in the bar, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

2006         The Terror, Firstsite, Colchester

2004         New Work, Museum of Oxford

2003         Installation at the Kalmthout Arboretum, Belgium

2002         Touch Wood, Rochester Art Gallery, following Stour Valley Arts residency

1999         Untitled, Dolphin Gallery, St John’s College, Oxford


Group Shows

2007
The Future Can Wait, London

Les Fleurs du Mal, Primo Alonso, London ( curated by John Stark)

Growing Wild, Andreiana Mihail Gallery, Bucharest  and Kontainer Gallery, Los Angeles (curated by Jane Neal)

Am Schlimmsten: nicht im Sommer sterben, Nassauische Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Germany  

2006
 Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, COMA, Berlin

Shibboleth, Dilston Grove, Southwark Park, London

Obsession, Sartorial Art, London

Repatriating The Ark, Museum of Garden History, London (curated by Parabola)

Miniature Worlds, Jerwood Space, London

International Arts Pestival, London Wetland Centre

New Figurative Realism, Clapham Art Gallery,London

The Mouse That Roared, Project 133, Peckham, London

Where the Wild Things Are, Blyth Gallery, London

2005
 Royal British Society of Sculptors (RBS) Bursary Exhibition

The Unlimited Dream Company, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle

Radar, Empire Gallery, London

Thinking the Unthinkable, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland

New Sculpture, Museum 52, Redchurch Street, London

The Young Ones, Said Business School, Oxford

2004
Forever Beautiful, Clapham Art Gallery, London

Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Curve Gallery, Barbican

Bloomberg New Contemporaries, The Coach Shed, Liverpool

Il Casa delle Ombres (House of Shadows), Antiquariato di Germana Cavalli, Tuscany

2003
 Ruskin MA Show

Seedy Rushes, University of Oxford Botanic Gardens

2002
 Tweede Natuur, Lia Schelkens Sculpture Gallery, Antwerp

2000
 Ruskin School Degree Show

Magdalen College Oxford

1999
 BILDUNG, Edinburgh Festival, Chessels Gallery

Look Both Ways, Pembroke College, Oxford

The Pirye Prize exhibition (short-listed), Oxford University Press.