“Woman, lover, mumma, maker; My heart, hands and soul lean into creating, instinctively— and whether I’m doing it subconsciously, intentionally, amidst the mundane, the routine or in the time set aside in my studio—I feel most alive here.”

Born and raised on a small island located just off the coast of Phillip Island in Australia’s south, meet Tess Guinery - a beautiful local artist, mother of 3 spirited daughters and poet. Now based here in the Northern Rivers, the author of The Apricot Memoirs and The Moonflower Monologues continues to live outside of fear and approach each day with a bold sense of optimism.

“I find myself here in the Northern Rivers, ready to ground myself - in a new town that feels quickly familiar, a place I am having a love affair with, eagerly happy to kiss the ground (for longer than a little while).”

Tess explores different mediums depending on what her creative expression requires at the time, dabbling in paint, pastels, collecting visuals or movement through dance - no medium is out of bounds for Tess and she wants to explore it all.

“As I look back and reflect, all of the paths walked up until now feel necessary and where I stand today, in a place of surrender yet with an eager sense of expectation to be the vessel I know I was designed to be, I hope my eyes are forever awake to beauty and that it can move freely through me and form into art, forever. Art is in the everyday.”

This unwavering sense of creativity was a gift that was partly within Tess (and all of us) and was partly bestowed upon her by her mother, who placed great emphasis on nurturing that creative fire that burned within her children.

“I truly believe it’s in all of us and I feel so blessed that my mother nurtured this in my siblings and me, making space for us to live in resonance with our natural state of being. My mother’s intention carved an understanding in all of us that art isn’t just something “we do” but something we live and it’s not limited to being in my art studio but practised by simply living.”

For Tess, writing The Moonflower Monologues was a form of medicine. After giving birth to her twin daughters, Tess found herself going through a major transition period. With so many things happening around her, to her and through her, she found herself, somehow lost for words.

“There was no verbal articulation to express the level of exhaustion, the depletion that no sleep brought, the schedule of breastfeeding two babies whilst having no time for anything outside of my immediate moments of presence. As a mostly verbal processor, having no words could be likened to the sense of being volcanic—I cried deeply about many multi-dimensional things over what felt like too many months—this big beautiful life was breaking my heart and I was too depleted to have clarity—on anything.”

“It was at this time I found medicine in poetry and the pages of ‘The Moonflower Monologues’ were written. The pieces written were the resolve I found whilst sitting up late at night in silence, breastfeeding and trying to process and make sense of what felt like impossible things. It was an extremely cathartic (and helpful) practice, as was the array of intuitive friends that leant in close during this time, alongside my beautiful husband that caught more tears than anyone would have known I cried at the time.”

When asked in essence what Tess believes she stands for, her answer gave us such a beautiful insight into who she is. We asked ‘If you could stand for one thing in this world, what would it be?’ To which Tess replied:
Because where there is truth,
There is beauty.”

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