Tessa Farmer was born in 1978 in Birmingham and lives and works in London. She is the great granddaughter of the influential writer of supernatural horror Arthur Machen. She studied at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, The University of Oxford where she received a BFA and an MFA. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is in many collections including those of The Saatchi Gallery, London, The David Roberts Collection, London and The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Tasmania.
In 2007 she was artist in residence at the Natural History Museum in London. and was nominated for The Times/ Southbank Show Breakthrough Award. In 2011 she was awarded a Kindle Project 'Makers Muse' Award.
Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition 'Unwelcome Visitors' at The Holburne Museum, Bath, 'The Nature of the Beast' at New Art Gallery Walsall, 'Victoriana' at Guildhall Art Gallery, London and 'Red Queen' at MONA, Tasmania.
"Hovering with rarefied, jewel-like beauty, Tessa's tiny spectacles resound with a theurgist exotica: their specimen forms borrow from Victorian occultism to evolve as something alien and futuristic. Playing out apocalyptic narratives of a microscopic underworld, Tessa's manikin wonders rule with baneful fervour: harnessing mayflies, battling honey bees, attacking spindly spiders. Presented as wee preternatural discoveries, Tessa's sculptures conjure a superstitious premise, dismantling the mythos of fantasia with evidence of something much more gothic, sinister, and bewitching."
Patricia Ellis 2007.