Tess Motherway is a filmmaker, visual artist & film curator from Dublin, Ireland, based in Berlin since 2016. She completed her M.Phil in Film, Theory & History at Trinity College Dublin in 2010 & graduated from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology in 2007 with a Bachelor’s (Hons) degree in Fine Art with a concentration on Painting, Drawing & Installation. To date, Tess’s work has screened at film festivals, exhibitions & events across Ireland, the UK, Berlin & New York. Tess’s film work responds to themes of marginalisation, equality & social commentary & she is influenced by filmmakers such as Kim Longinotto, Pipilotti Rist, Albert & Robert Maysles, Werner Herzog, Peter Tscherkassky, Nick Broomfield, Steve James, Pat Collins & Sharon Whooley & Ken Wardrop. Heavily informed by her interest in 35mm & Polaroid photography, Tess works in an array of different film media including digital & Super8 film. In 2013, Tess founded Dublin Doc Fest, short documentary film festival, to provide a unique platform for the exhibition of short documentary film in Ireland.
Reflexivity, tautology & the interrogation of the art object are central to Tess’ visual art, where playful compositions & looped narratives self-reflexively point to their own processes of being. Text & visual puns are utilised in her drawings and paintings to directly pose questions about interpretation & the nature of audience, punctuating bold backgrounds & muted floral prints with poignancy & humour. Friviolity & absurdism co-exist with parody & bathos – often simultaneously. In Tess’s performance based work, she combines her use of text with the body to explore the political and the personal, drawing from both individual and collective experience. Tess counts Francis Alyss, Sophie Calle, Cindy Sherman and David Shrigley amongst her influences.
In April 2017, Tess completed an artist residency at The Trelex Residency, Switzerland where she realised her short film ‘8’. At present, Tess is collecting audio & film archive for a series of personal, experimental documentary films, learning Super8 film development & programming the next instalment of Dublin Doc Fest.