Tessa Garland


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I originally trained as a sculptor but for many years my work has become preoccupied with the moving image. Cinematic language allows me to explore and create places by piecing and layering together footage of journeys through spaces, these journeys I lace with feelings of uncertainty.

I tend of focus on a place, landmark or idea and work with it over a long period of time, allowing it to grow in significance. This immersive process of working can lead to creating a sense of claustrophobia or the feeling of being taken over that feeds back into the work.

My unconventional style of working perhaps seems closer to a painter than a film maker. I often build scale models or work on photographs to help me to understand my subjects. Models are filmed using many different formats of camera and carefully lit using coloured studio lighting. Numerous video inserts are created and worked upon during the editing process, so that there is a real sense of layering and montage. Sound is also vital to the work and once meshed with the imagery form atmospheric, often dreamlike work that is reminiscent of a memory or a premonition.

My work intentionally references Science Fiction films of the 1950’s and 60’s where the layering and construction of the film making process are evident. I enjoy adapting low budget techniques drawn from this genre and use such devices in an exaggerated way to evoke a heightened sense of unease or suspense.
I have shown my work at the ICA and the Whitechapel Gallery London, Spacex Gallery Exeter, Les Inattendus Lyons, MACVAL Contemporary Art Musuem and Rencontres International Paris, France.

I am the co-curator and co organiser for the international moving image event ‘Visions in the Nunnery’, The Nunnery Gallery, London. I have been in receipt of numerous arts grants and awards both to develop my own practice and to curate and organise exhibitions and events across the UK.

External Links


  1. Film and Video Umbrella
  2. Yin-Ju Chen
  3. Seed Movie
  4. Paul Clipson
  5. Iain & Jane
  6. Frieze London
  7. Max Hattler
  8. Jerwood Charitable Foundation
  9. Film London
  10. Hugo Goudswaard
  11. Frieze
  12. JoelOtron
  13. Vincent Laforet
  14. Ryan Trecartin
  15. Ben Rivers
  16. Philip Bloom
  17. Quayola

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