Roma Tearne is a Sri Lankan-born artist and novelist living and working in Britain. She arrived with her parents in this country at the age of ten. She trained as a painter, completing her MA at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford. For nearly twenty years her work as a painter, installation artist and filmmaker has dealt with the traces of history and memory within public and private spaces.
In 1998, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, highlighted one of her paintings, Watching the Procession, for its Summer Exhibition. As a result her work became more widely known and was included in the South Asian Arts Festival at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham in 1992. In 1993, Cadogan Contemporaries, London began showing her paintings, then in 2000, the Arts Council of England funded a touring exhibition of her work. Entitled The House of Small Things, this exhibition consisted of paintings and photographs based on childhood memories. They were the start of what was to become a preoccupation with issues of loss and migration.
Roma became Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford in 2002 and it was while working at the Ashmolean and as a response to public interest that she began to write. In 2003, she had a solo exhibition, Nel Corpo delle Città (In the Body of the Cities), at the MLAC Gallery in Rome. She is currently the holder of a three-year AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Fellowship at Brookes University, Oxford, and is working on the relationship between narrative and memory in museums throughout Europe.
Roma’s first novel, Mosquito, was shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award. She is married with three children and lives in Oxford.
Books by Roma Tearne