Tessa Lynch

Wise Women, 2021.

series of 7 lino prints on A4 coloured copy paper.

Edition of 20

This body of work evolved as a response to thinking about Silvia Federici’s work on witches as well as Christine de Pizan’s publication ‘The Book of the City of Ladies’. Published in 1405 the work argued against the misogynist male writing of the day by praising significant women and celebrating their capabilities and virtues. The imagery is influenced by medieval illuminations, produced and presented on one flat plain with the storytelling unfolding all at the same time; objects deliberately held on display and becoming symbolic. Lynch makes a point of depicting the faces of the women as they were presented in medieval imagery – carried away in contemplation, as if nothing around them can stir them from their inner thoughts.

The works all share in common the depiction of the many roles and responsibilities of women that span domestic and professional spaces, private and personal lives, acted out both consciously and unconsciously – the overarching statement being that women are wise. Produced during lockdown the works were made in the artists home; a kitchen table fashioned into a with clamp presses and prints pegged up to dry on a washing line in between laundry cycles.

“I made these for myself and the women I know. In my thoughts were all the women who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Even though the outcome of these works is very solid and illustrative, the making of them felt much more poetic. The imagery always changed as I was cutting it out. I loved the sculptural feel of carving things out when access to my studio and sculpture workshops was minimal. It was mindful, craft like, worry free.” – Tessa Lynch

Lynch was the Florent Stone printmaking resident between Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh Printmakers last year, 2020. Although the residency has been paused, this series of prints were an indirect outcome of this and was funded by both bodies. – Words Patricia Fleming