Tess Erlenborn is an artist from Nashville, TN. She graduated cum laude from Sewanee: The University of the South with a B.F.A under the honors program in 2014. Her studio practices include murals, acrylic and oil painting, with a focus on natural textures, layered spaces and dualities. She takes inspiration from escapism and natural and biological textures and forms. "My work explores dualities. It restructures familiar, natural objects into a composition of disparate parts. It combines intricate details found in natural textures, fluidity, and chaos. Stillness and movement, color and contrast, and structure and looseness are all prevalent dualities in my work. The purpose of my practice is to address various inevitabilities in life. I am inspired by escapism and utilize this coping mechanism in my work. I use natural symbolism and feminine tropes, seen in the color palette and various natural forms. Common themes include decay, disease, growth, genetics, femininity, and repetition. I draw on personal issues and anxieties that bring people together, while simultaneously causing divides. I address what separates and connects us, and the cyclical nature of life and human tendencies. The painted, abstract beings represent our tendencies to compartmentalize and reveal personal anxieties. They transition in and out of abstractions and natural forms. This movement between the real and the imagined is representational of escapism. Creating these patterns, and repeating them intricately and deliberately, directly correlates to our repeated tendencies. It is also representative of the constant division of cells and growth found in the processes of decay and rebirth. By using natural metaphors, the purpose of this work is to beautify the inevitable."