This post is as painful to me as when I posted about another blogger friend's passing, our Renee. Tessa is gone. It is one of the biggest voids I have ever felt from a person I never had the priviledge to meet in person. See, Tessa was so special, a life force who radiated light from her words. She touched people. She cared deeply for those who suffered and with her art and generosity, she made a difference. She had a passion for life and her beloved children. She was funny, well traveled, always optimistic, she inspired, was knowledgeable, but never pedantic with her knowledge. I don't remember if she found my blog or I found hers but we found each other in this medium. And just like that, immediately, we recognized each other as kindred spirits. We both loved Africa and its people, we both loved art, travel and we both loved making connections and bringing people together. The idea of making bridges through communication. I will try to honor her, not with tears for that would have highly upset her, but with continuing to spread her message that if we hold on to each other, we can make this a better world.
Here is her website Folk, Figurative and Photographic Art by Tessa: The Aerial Armadillo, she along with the amazing Dr Maithri Goonetilleke co-founded the Mealie Meal Project, which now feeds 132 orphans each month.
In her words: "My art is a tribute, I hope, to the people we’ve met on our travels in Africa . People who have experienced bloody civil war, yet smile with a warmth that reaches the very heart of you. People who have lived under oppressive regimes, yet sing in soaring harmony. Those whose families have been desecrated during onslaughts of horrifying genocide, yet still reach out with love and forgiveness. Children whose eyes light up when given a pencil to take to their little school under the sparse shade of an acacia tree…
That is why I paint. For me, it is a celebration of life and through my art I endeavour in some small way to encapsulate the essence, the spirit and the strength of the exceptional people I have been so very privileged to meet. "
Until we meet dear Tessa.