Travelling Exhibition

UCA Library is undertaking  a travelling exhibition of material from our special collections throughout all the campuses

Rochester is sending out 1950s prospectuses and student sketchbooks from the 1950s specialising in a variety of art and design. They are interesting for the history of  Medway College of Design, history of Art classes, including graphic design work, lithography, cut wood engraving, lettering, fabric printing and trends and popularity in art and design in the 1950s

At Farnham 26th November – 7th January

At Maidstone 7th January-4th February

At Epsom 4th February-4th March

At Canterbury 4th March – 1 April

 

Rochester Student Sketchbook

 

Maidstone is sending a selection of material from the Tessa Boffin Archive and Personal Library

 

Tessa Boffin, was an 1980s photographer, specialising in sex and sexual fantasy

 

1)    Technical Photography Instruction, 1984

This include instructions for working with film photography in the 1980s and information regarding how Boffin would portray different adverts.

 2)    Income Book, 1991-1992

Income and expenditure book relating to what items she required for photography, exhibition space required and petty expenses

 3)    Coursework Book, 1985-1986

Contains notes and photocopies of photographs relating to The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic and Next…Quarantine The Disease of the Soul/Panic. Includes images of newspaper articles in the 1980s relating to AIDS and safe sex, and lesbianism, images from Derek Jahrman, religious imagery, and her own handwritten notes

 4)    Photography prints related to her work The Slings and Arrow of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic, helping highlight perceptions towards AIDS in the 1980s

 5)    Postcard from Marc Almond, from Soft Cell, 1980s

A letter from Marc Almond, with an image of him on the front, agreeing to pose for Tessa Boffin

 6)    A selection of books from her personal library, some annotated and one with a letter, providing context to her work

At Epsom 26th November – 7th January

At Canterbury 7th January – 14th February

At Rochester 14th February -4th March

At Farnham 4th March – 1st April

 

Coursework regarding her AIDS work

Canterbury is sending Canterbury Architectural Student Association Journals

 

Provides information on…

 

Graphic Design and drawings

Visual images from the 1940s, and drawings of buildings inside journals

Reports on historical architecture, including Roman architecture

Kent and England architecture

  • Includes some drawings/sketches

Architecture in Kent from the 1940s-1960s

‘As a college we are singularly insensitive to our environment. Over the past few years we have seen the systematic murder of that whole area of this city between Burgate Street and George’s Street‘ (CASA 1960s)

Family history

  • Student reports detail students and lecturers names

Student Activity

  • Information on the Student Union
  • Reports of student trips, and activities, including reports on architecture abroad
  • Reports of student sport and social activities
  • ‘On Saturday…1947… a group of… students congregated at ‘Georges’ to consume a flagon of “pig’s ear”‘ (CASA 1948)
  • Visits to exhibitions
  • Creative writing regarding architecture, and other works from students

 

At Rochester 26th November – 7th January

At Farnham 7th January – 4th February

At Maidstone 4th February – 4th March

At Epsom 4th March-1 April

 

CASA 1957

 

Farnham is sending Guildford School of Art Photography, and Book binding and Printing Prospectuses

Provides Information on

–         History of Art Schools

–         History of the Guildford School of Art

–         History of Photography, Bookbinding and Printing

–         Graphic Design and Art interest with visual covers

At Maidstone 26th November-4th January

At Epsom 4th January – 7th February

At Canterbury 4th February – 4th March

At Rochester 4th March -1 April

Epsom is sending prospectuses from the Epsom and Ewell School of Art and Technical Institute, 1930s onwards

Provides information on

–         History of Art Schools

–         History of the Epsom School of Art and Technical Institute

–         History of Art School classes including Art and Design, Architecture, Women’s Crafts

–         Graphic Design and Art interest with visual covers

At Canterbury 26th November – 7th January

At Rochester 7th January – 4th February

At Farnham 4th February – 7th March

At Maidstone 7th March – 1 April

Epsom prospectuses from 1925

 

 

Tessa Boffin archive catalogue online

The archive of Tessa Boffin, photographer who worked in the 1980s, has now been catalogued.  She specialised in sex, sexual fantasy,Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues, and looked at the portayal of AIDS, including AIDS in the media. Her archive also sheds light into the technical side of photography

It can be accessed online on Archives Hub at http://archiveshub.ac.uk/data/gb3094boff.

Of note include her technical books on photography, her project books where Boffin analyses the media on topics such as AIDS, feminism, homosexuality, cross-dressing, for inspiration for photography ideas, her project work on ‘The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic’, and her project ‘The Sailor and the Showgirl’, which explores cross-dressing, gender, and safe sex.

The biographical information of her life is as follows:

Tessa Boffin was born 24 December 1960. She was a lesbian photographer, writer, editor, and performance artist. Her work was at the front-line of international queer culture and politics. She initially studied photography in the mid 1980s at the Polytechnic of Central London, under the tutorship of Simon Watney. She undertook an MA in Critical Theory at the University of Sussex in 1987-1988.

Her teaching was as a part time photography lecturer at Adult Education, London from 1986 to 1987, worked at Oxford Polytechnic,1987 and 1989, worked at West Surrey College of Art and Design from 1988, Polytechnic of Central London, 1990, Kent institute of Art and Design from 1990.

She edited Ecstatic Antibodies in 1990 with Sunil Gupta, and co-curated the exhibition, which contributed to understanding of the role images played in the AIDS crisis, and in 1991 edited Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take Photographs, with Jean Fraser, which is contemporary lesbian photography. She was the first British lesbian doing political work around AIDS as early as 1985.

She died on 27th October 1993, while working as a lecturer at the Kent Institute for Art and Design

Tessa Boffin was a remarkable woman, and her archive sheds an evocative light of the portrayal of LGBT issues in the 1980s.

Rebekah Taylor, Archivist & Special Collections Officer