Tessa Silva is a British-Brazilian artist based in London, graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2016. Her research based practice straddles the fields of craft, design, science, archeology, and mythology. She is interested in how society is shaped by the materials that we use, and what these can tell us about human behaviours. With a focus on material research and exploration, her work prompts the inspection of our material culture, throughout the past, present, and into the future.
The results are sculptural objects whose form and narrative are championed over function, with each piece representing the social and historical significance of the material used. Her intention is to challenge the apathetic engagement with objects that has been generated over the past century. Tessa’s craft reforms ancient techniques in order to produce contemporary artefacts.
The Chalk & Cheese project is as a comprehensive study into the use of milk proteins as a material for the handcrafted production of fine objects and sculptures.
A limited supply of surplus milk is sourced from a small organic farm in Sussex, who reject the factory model of farming. Milk and milk products have helped shaped cultures and civilisation as we know it; some of the earliest human artefacts contain residues of cow’s milk.
This material is immersed in a rich history, and each artwork is symbolic of our once nurturing relationship to milk, unavoidably highlighting the horrors of today’s farming industry.