Tessa Jackson OBE
Tessa Jackson is an independent curator, writer and cultural advisor based in the UK. For the 57th Venice Biennale she has been appointed as the Mongolian Pavilion’s International Advisor. Tessa has over 25 years’ experience working in Britain and internationally and has held a series of significant roles as curator and gallery director. She curated the first programme for Tramway as Head of Visual Arts for Glasgow 1990, European City of Culture. As Director of Arnolfini, Bristol she worked with emerging and established artists, often curating or co-curating their first major presentations in Britain, including Mona Hatoum and Annette Messager. As Director of the Scottish Arts Council she laid the foundation stones for Scotland’s first pavilion in Venice in 2003.
Tessa was Founding Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Artes Mundi for almost a decade, establishing it as a significant biennial exhibition and prize in Wales. She then moved to being Director of Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London curating exhibitions and projects amongst others: Abdoulaye Konaté, Peter Clarke, Zineb Sedira and Sonya Boyce. In 2011 Tessa was awarded an OBE for services to Art. Current projects include working with the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Heong Gallery, Cambridge and leading a curatorial trip to South Africa.
As a writer Tessa has contributed to many catalogues and publications. Recent chapters and articles include: ‘Xu Bing, Where does the Dust’ for a 9/11 commemoration publication, New York City Library, 2011; ‘Memory is Identity’ for exhibition Raimi Gbadamosi, Cemetery at Johannesburg Art Gallery, 2014; ‘The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting’ for Asia Triennial Manchester’s Conflict and Compassion – A Paradox of Difference in Contemporary Asian Art, 2015; ‘Abdoulaye Konaté - Communicating through Cloth’ for exhibition Katrine Helmersson and Abdoulaye Konaté, Norrköping Konstmuseum, Sweden, 2015 and ‘Then and Now’, for the anniversary publication 30 Years of Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester 2016.