Writer, artist, campaigner, and playwork professional, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourettes Syndrome.
Jess is a visual, performing, and participatory artist based in London. She graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2005 with a MA in photography. She has worked as an artist educator and workshop facilitator for The Tate, The South London Gallery and The Chisenhale and has undertaken an EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) funded residency.
Jess has written in the mainstream and disability press including The Guardian, The Observer and Disability Now. In 2012 she published Welcome to Biscuit Land – A Year In the Life of Touretteshero, with a foreword by Stephen Fry.
In 2014 she performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, DaDaFest in Liverpool and the Unlimited Festival at London’s Southbank Centre. She also devised and delivered a one-day event for children with Tourettes at Tate Britain. In the same year, Jess co-devised her award winning debut stage show Backstage in Biscuit Land and
In 2015 Jess performed her Broadcast from Biscuit Land as part of the On Stage: Live from Television Centre evening on BBC4 and gave the 12th Annual Disability Lecture at Cambridge University. She also gave the Science Communication Keynote for the British Science Association.
In 2016 Jess took Backstage in Biscuit Land on an extensive UK tour before taking it to New York, Toronto, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Jess has spoken widely in the media about her life with Tourettes, including on Woman’s Hour, This Morning, and Russell Howard’s Good News. In 2013 she gave a TEDx talk on The Alchemy of Chaos at the Royal Albert Hall and became a continuity announcer for Channel 4 as part of their Born Risky season.
Jess is committed to increasing opportunities that allow the experiences of people living with Tourettes Syndrome to be heard, and to ‘changing the world one tic at a time.’