Tessa Mars (1985) is a Haitian visual artist born and raised in Port-au-Prince. She completed a Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts at Rennes 2 University in France in 2006 after which she returned to live and work in Haiti. Her work has been shown recently in the exhibitions "Your presence does not escape me" at Tiwani Gallery in London  and "Who Tells a Tale adds a Tail"  (2022) at the Denver Art Museum. Tessa Mars is an Alumn of the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten (2020-2022). She currently resides in Puerto Rico.


My body of work presents my efforts to reconnect to a Haitian perspective of the world. I investigate the legacy of the Haitian revolution when it comes to our contemporary understandings of resistance, survival, adaptability and creation. I’m interested in the spirituality that accompany us through our various journeys on Haitian soil and abroad and I want to explore the role of women in narrating and transmitting the knowledge and skills at the heart of building the communal/building identity. I’m inspired by Haitian myths and legends, the daily happenings  in Haitian society and my own experience as a Haitian woman and as a migrant.

My alter ego Tessalines, based on the father of the nation Dessalines,  allows me to insert myself -literally- into the unfolding of time/space/History. The character represents a link between past and present, and a tool to challenge the silences and omissions that have been institutionalised.  Tessalines allows for alternate readings of events on a national and public level but also on a personal and familial level.

Through my paintings, audio pieces and papier mâché objects, in my recent pieces , I try to locate a “spiritual space” of migration based on our relations to the land and to the idea of belonging. I reinsert ‘travel’ into a continuum that connects the first inhabitants of these territories  to  the newcomers passing through. My purpose is to reaffirm the universality and timelessness of our lived experiences and propose visions of more serene possible futures.