Tessa Peters - Biography

Research Profile

Curator Profile



Tessa Peters is a senior lecturer in the history and theory of art and design in the University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design and a supervisor on the graduate programme. She has a BA Hons in Fine Art from Winchester School of Art and an MA in History of Design from Middlesex University. Employed in the contemporary gallery sector from 1978, she was Director of Contemporary Applied Arts (1990-1994) and since 1995 has practised as an independent curator producing exhibitions for museums and galleries including the Barbican Centre, the Bowes Museum, Contemporary Applied Arts, the Crafts Study Centre, Dr. Johnson's House, Marsden Woo Gallery, Pitzhanger Manor, and the Centre for Ceramic Art (CoCA) at York Art Gallery.

Curator of Exhibitions

  • 2016-17 Anthony Shaw Collection (Guest curator of a new display), CoCA, York Art Gallery.
  • 2015 Laura Potter: Fictional Final Goal (solo), Marsden Woo Gallery, London EC2.  
  • 2014  Curator of Marsden Woo Project Space, London, EC1: Alexa Raisbeck: Frames of Reference; Patrick Cockram: Rectangular; Jim Woodall: Landscapes of Uncertainty; Marine Duroselle: Preview of Shades. 
  • 2013 Curator of Marsden Woo Project Space, London EC1: John Rainey: Hyper Activity: Scenes from An Other Reality; Rebecca Ackroyd: Gross Weight; Anja M Bache: Signs and the Signed; Neil Dixon; James Thompson: Expanding Spaces; Betsy Dadd: Terra Infirma.
  • 2012 Tradition and Innovation: Five Decades of Harrow Ceramics (group exhibition), Contemporary Applied Arts, London W1. (Catalogue)
  • 2012 Curator of Marsden Woo Project Space, London, EC1: Patrick Mifsud: On Different Levels; James Robert Brown: Reverie I-V; James Evans: Abugation; Baa: Bryan Illsley, Christopher Reid and Alida Sayer; Silo: Form Follows Function; Rupert Ackroyd: Inn, Inn, Inn.
  •  2011 Memoranda, (co-curator with Janice West), (artists: Maisie Broadhead, Stephen Dixon, Laura Potter and Elaine Wilson), Crafts Study Centre, University of the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey. Funded by Arts Council England. (Accompanying book)
  • 2011 Curator of the Marsden Woo Project Space, London, EC1: Tom Foulsham; The Everyday: Raquel Figueira, Jon Harrison & Nick Mobbs; Stephenie Bergman: The Wire and Other Works; James Rigler: The Lost World; Renato Bezerra de Mello: The Crumbs of Childhood; Maria Militsi: Fragments of Memory.
  • 2010 Curator of the Marsden Woo Project Space, London, EC1. Gaea Todd; Carole Windham: Souvenirs from the World of Windham; Owen Bullett: Portal; Alida Sayer: There is No Why; Karen Ryan: Awkward; Lightworks: Becky Miller, Lucy Norman & Amy Warner.
  • 2009 The House of Words (Co-curator with Janice West), (commissioned artists: Caroline Broadhead, Jason Cleverly, Robert Dawson, Chris Kenny, Jane Prohpet & Clare Twomey, Era Vati). Dr. Johnson's House, London EC4. Funded by Arts Council England and the Golden Bottle Trust. (Accompanying book)
  • 2009 Diverse Practices, (group exhibition), City Lit/ Barrett Marsden Gallery, EC1. (Catalogue)
  • 2008 The Secret Life of the Office, (Co-curator with Janice West) (group exhibition), Arts & Business, London SE1
  • 2002 The Uncanny Room, (Co-curator with Janice West), (artists: Ralph Ball, Caroline Broadhead, Carl Clerkin, Gitta Gschwendtner, Mah Rana, Richard Slee, Hans Stofer, Emma Woffenden), PM Gallery & House (Pitzhanger Manor), London W5 & The Bowes Museum, Co Durham. Funded by Arts Council National Touring Programme and London Arts. (Accompanying book)
  • 1998 Atlantic Crossings: American influences in the work of five British ceramic artists (artists: Robert Cooper, Stephen Dixon, James Evans, Sean Henry, Richard Slee), Barbican Centre, London EC2. (Catalogue)
  • 1995-1997 Craftworks, Annual London Arts Board Award group exhibitions, Barbican Centre, London, EC2.
  • 1994 New Metalwork (group exhibition); Gillian Lowndes (solo); Angus Suttie 1946-1993 (retrospective). All Contemporary Applied Arts, London, WC2
  • 1993 Gordon Baldwin (solo); New Works by Jason Cleverly, Casson & Hazell, Imogen Margrie, Linda Miller (group exhibition); Form & Function (group exhibition). All Contemporary Applied Arts, London, WC2.
  • 1992 Thomas Eisl (solo); Jill Crowley (solo); Peter Chatwin & Pamela Martin, Mary Restieaux (group exhibition). All Contemporary Applied Arts, London WC2
  • 1991 Rosa Nguyen (solo); Clive Bowen (solo); Studio Glass (group exhibition). All Contemporary Applied Arts, London, WC2
  • 1990 Ken Eastman (solo). Contemporary Applied Arts, London, WC2.  

Selected Publications

  • ‘Christie Brown: Narrative Strategies.’ New Ceramics (European Ceramics Magazine), Germany, 1: 2017, pp. 8 – 13. ISSN: 1860-1049. [Article]
  • ‘Ceramic Art in Social Contexts.’ In C. Brown, J. Stair & C. Twomey (eds) Contemporary Clay & Museum Culture (Abingdon & New York: Routledge, 2016) pp. 97-104. [Book chapter]
  • ‘Seeing Things: Collected Writing on Art, Craft & Design by Alison Britton.’ In Journal of Modern Craft, Vol 8, Issue 1, 2015. Bloomsbury Journals, pp 101 - 103. DOI: 10.2752/174967715X14213400210159  [Book review]
  • ‘Christie Brown: DreamWork, The Freud Museum, 2012-13'. In Interpreting Ceramics, Issue 15, 2013. ISSN 1471-146X. [Article]
  • Peters, T., (ed)Tradition & Innovation: Five Decades of Harrow Ceramics (London: University of Westminster, 2012). Essays by Christie Brown, John Houston & Victor Margrie, Tessa Peters. [Book]
  • Peters, T. & West, J. (eds), Memoranda (London & Farnham: Luminous Books in association with the Crafts Study Centre, 2011). Foreword: Daniel Miller. Essays by Glenn Adamson, Tessa Peters & Janice West, Jean Vacher. [Book]
  • Brazil: The Cultural Contemporary,’ Royal College of Art, Jan 2011. In Craft Research, Intellect Journals, Vol 2, Issue 1, April 2011, pp. 190-194. [Conference review]
  • Peters, T. & West, J., (eds) House of Words (London: Dr Johnson’s House in association with Luminous Books, 2009). Essays by Esther Leslie, Tessa Peters & Janice West, Stephanie Pickford, Calum Storrie. Photos by Philip Sayer. [Book]
  • ‘Dissolving Boundaries: Possibilities and Challenges in British Ceramic Art.’ In Ceramics Yearbook 2003, Ceramics in Society, Issue 54. ISSN 1474-3825, pp. 54-57 [Article]
  • Peters, T., & West, J. (eds), The Uncanny Room, (London: Luminous Books, 2002). Foreword by Adrian Forty, essays by Esther Leslie, Caroline Evans & Janice West. Photos by Philip Sayer [Book]


Conference Papers

  • 2017 'Participatory Art: Ceramic and social praxis.' Clay Matters: Thinking and exhibiting matter in recent art. Hasselt University, Belgium (forthcoming Nov 2017)
  • 2014 'Ceramics, Collections, Collaborations and Communities.' Ceramics in the Expanded Field conference, University of Westminster.
  • 2010 'Ceramic Narratives: Artefacts and Interpretation' (with Janice West). Ceramics on Show: Public and Private Displays conference, Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • 2009 'From the Uncanny Room to the House of Words', (with Janice West), published in The Go between: The Artist as Mediator between Collections and Audiences (Cardiff: National Museum Wales / University of Glamorgan) pp.18-29.


  • 2011 Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts
  • 2002 Arts Council National Touring Programme
  • 2002 London Visual Arts Fund
  • 2001 London Arts Research and Development Award.