As a visual artist, Tismer makes her art by hand, using wool, metal, wood, cardboard and other natural, readily available material. The artist attributes her handmade, ecological approach to art to her lifestyle in Togo, Africa, where she has lived and worked with six other artists since 2011.
“There is no money for arts ... We have no hot water, no washing machine and no refrigerator. There aren’t many lights, and we rarely use the Internet. We are not polluting the world there,” she says.
Knitting possesses a calming, almost healing power for the artist, who says she is afraid of everything from people and new environments to walking down a dark street alone.
“I start to limit myself till I can’t do anything anymore. But I have to do something ... I remember when I was a child, I was not so afraid and I learned knitting from my grandmother. I saw what she was doing and I wanted to do the same,” the artist confesses. “I sometimes talk about them [the fears] but feel ashamed and embarrassed because I am talking about them.”