Writer, artist and part time superhero, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourette’s syndrome. Touretteshero is about reclaiming the most frequently misunderstood condition on the planet, challenging people to think differently, and building a more inclusive society.
Jess is a visual, performing, and participatory artist based in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005. 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, 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 co-organised and hosted a one-day event for children with Tourette’s at Tate Britain. In the same year, Jess co-devised the award winning stage show Backstage in Biscuit Land.
In 2015, Jess performed her ‘Broadcast from Biscuit Land’ as part of the On Stage: Live from Television Centre evening on BBC4. 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 Tourette’s, including on Woman’s Hour, This Morning, and the Saturday Night Show in Ireland. In 2013, she gave a TEDx talk on The Alchemy of Chaos at 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 Tourette’s syndrome to be heard, and to ‘changing the world one tic at a time.’