Women have been portrayed in the arts for thousands of years - often by the other sex - and very often without clothes. The image of 'the feminine' is often skewed into one direction, not recognizing that there is a diverse representation of what femininity can entail.
Most of Tessel's paintings on canvas and illustrations on paper, portray and embody feminine nudes. They reclaim the body and her agency as a source of power. While the naked body also symbolises vulnerability, it invites you to explore the realms of comfort and confinement, times of being loved, of self-love - and times of struggle. The colours and shapes of the bodies are expressions of introspection, personal growth and of healing - as the tessellated shapes play with high contrasts, shadow and light.
In essence, the paintings are a medium to reclaim feminine energy and the female body (her 'nude') from something formerly objectified, sexualized and 'exotified', to something that is connected to the power from within: something that is sacred, yet laud and present.
In addition to that, both the Black and White Works, as well as the coloured canvasses from the atelier, aim at carrying out some sort of balance in light, composition and form. This illustrates the duality and the dynamics of masculine and feminine energy that we all carry within ourselves.
In all her works, you can see how Tessel plays with perspective and 'perception', as the shapes are often abstracted, scattered or fluid with the environment they are in (or with the other bodies of the painting). This symbolizes the idea that there is no one truth, but also, that there is no real separation either. Tessel boldly states: there is no such thing as separation: everything - in essence - is connected with each other.