Tessa Boffin Archive

Scope and Content

This collection contains

  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and other photography projects, including portrayal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), cross dressing and safe sex
  • Notes on television and radio productions of the 1980s portrayal on feminism and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Student coursework and notes
  • Technical photography instruction
  • Personal items including photographs and correspondence
  • Miscellaneous lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and photography articles and leaflets
  • Lecture and research notes and reprints
  • Finance
  • Slides of her and other photographers' work
  • Miscellaneous postcards for teaching purposes
  • Career notes

Administrative / Biographical History

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

Tessa Boffin's work was sex and sexual fantasy, and explored lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender issues. 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

Access Information

Contact rtaylor8@ucreative.ac.uk or library@ucreative.ac.uk to make an appointment

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Rebekah Taylor, Archivist and Special Collections Officer, July 2012