Odds and quads - 2 January 2014

These pictures are from the archive of the lesbian photographer, writer and performance artist Tessa Boffin (1960-93), now held by the University for the Creative Arts Farnham

January 2, 2014

The first British lesbian to be politically active around the issue of Aids, Ms Boffin worked on a project called The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic. She also co-edited a book called Ecstatic Antibodies (with Sunil Gupta, 1990) and co-curated an exhibition of the same name, looking at the role of images in the Aids crisis.

Other photographic work focused on sexual fantasy and on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender themes, offering many evocative insights into such communities in the 1980s. A project titled The Sailor and the Showgirl, for example, explored cross-dressing, gender and safe sex; while the book Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take Photographs (co‑edited with Jean Fraser, 1991) celebrated lesbian photography.

Alongside her own practice as a photographer, Ms Boffin taught from 1990 to 1993 at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, which became part of UCA Farnham.

matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

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