Tess Denman-Cleaver


Bernadette Mayer – [Sonnet] You jerk you didn’t call me up

Margaret Tait – For Using (see image, taken by Tess, at the bottom of this post)

Listening to:


Talking Headits – Burning Down The Acid House


Céline Sciamma – Portrait of a Lady on Fire

The whole of Seinfeld from beginning to end (if it’s your first time start at Season 3)

Working on:

I’m spending my time (which I have a lot more of now I’ve been furloughed from my producing job) developing a project called ‘Town Hall Meeting of the Air’, which grew out of the residency I did with SARU in 2018-19, and is a collaboration with artist Kate Liston. The focus of this work is the poetics of civic gathering, and how democracy manifests in the language of public discourse and design of civic architecture. Imagining a space for civic gathering – which is what we hope the project will become – has become quite a different prospect in recent weeks. ‘Town Hall Meeting of the Air’ will be presented as an exhibition, performance and public programme at Baltic 39 in Newcastle and Ovada in Oxford in 2021. I’ve also been enjoying doing more open-ended writing, just writing for writing’s sake, which I find really helpful for keeping my head straight. I’m really wary of the notion that lockdown is an opportunity to be creative or productive though – its probably the most stressful and shocking thing any of us will ever live through, so just eating, sleeping and staying calm seem like enough to be getting on with. 

I am an artist living in Gateshead in the North East of England. My work spans performance, writing, workshops and installation. I am also the producer of the Artists’ Moving Image programme at Tyneside Cinema.