Tessa Teixeira

Tessa Teixeira

Thomas Nagel in 1974, famously asked.. “ What is it like to be a bat?”

My work explores the so called “hard problem” of consciousness, the “Conscious Self”, addressing the subjective quality of experience i.e the raw feelings associated with our mental lives, in philosophical terms, its “qualia”.

Neuroscientists Francis Crick and Christof Koch have expounded on this, i.e ‘the difficulty to relate electrochemical activity in the brain, the nervous system and and sensory organs to “what it is like”, to have an experience, see the redness of red, the painfulness of pain, the stabbing cramp of hunger, the pangs of jealousy and so on.

To fully explore the subjective quality of experience, I draw within myself as the “object”, the body that makes up part of my Identity, understanding that Identity cannot float free from the physical, but am of the view that our ‘consciousness’, that it is not in our physical bodies, that we find the pearl of self. Our sense of self, is rooted in what we think and how we feel.

Choice of Materials:

My choice of materials, is mostly focused on exploring ‘tactile and expressive mediums, that allow me the freedom to be “impulsive,and largely instinctive” and is currently rooted in painting and mixed media exploring plastic polymer mediums and photographic transfers , photography and printing techniques such as Monotypes.

Underlying this exploration, I draw on various postmodern philosophical and sociological views on the “Philosophy of the Mind”




Completed and graduated: Bachelors in Primary Education: Art Major

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Completed and graduated: Honours Bachelor of Commerce

University of Southern Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Spring semester programme of MFA, completed: Chiaruscuro & Italian Renaissance Art History and

early Philosophy

San Francisco Academy of Arts University

Post bacc programme: Completed: Colour Theory, Fundamentals in drawing and Fundamentals in painting

Univerisity of California; Berkeley Extention

Accepted for first year BA Fine Arts Programme – completed 3 months of first year programme

before moving to San Francisco for a year, University of the Witwatersrand


Short Courses: Mixed Media and Expressive painting

Central St Martins College of Art & Design: Clerkenwell, London

Open Studio semester programme: painting

Heatherley School of Fine Art: Chelsea, London

Drawing the Head

The Princes Drawing School: Shoreditch, London-

Various drawing workshop/activities hosted by www.londondrawing.com

Exhibitions and Art Career Development:

2005 – 2009

Adult Artworkshops Studio practice, Facilitated at my art studio space in Parktown West, Johannesburg, South Africa


Etchings workshop and production of Edition prints for first solo exhibition at the Artist proof studio in Newtown Johannesburg

First solo exhibition: Titled: “ Should I go or should I stay”, Exhibited at my studio in Parktown West, Johannesburg, South Africa


Attended Printing “Open Studio” weekly programme: Artist Proof Studios, Newtown, Johannesburg

Attended Printing Monthly Workshops : Sharon Sampson printing studio in Illovo, Johannesburg

May – July 2012: Selected for Group Exhibition show at The Johannesburg Art Gallery, “ Coming of Age”, Monotype Print: “Outrage” – curated by Kim Berman and Robyn Nesbitt

July 2012: Selected from an Open Call for Submissions, to exhibit an online portfolio with StateoftheArt.co.za Gallery.


Attended a weeks Monotype Workshop with Mark Attwood at The Artist Press in Mpumalanga in July.


2009 – 2010: The South African, Artlife, Edition: December 2009-January 2010

2012: Catalogue: ‘Coming of Age’, 21 years of Artistproof Studio, curated by Kim Berman and

Robyn Nesbitt