Tessa Lynch’s L-Shaped Room at Spike Island are primarily sculptures, some obvious everyday domestic environments like a kitchen sink in Ikea yellow, and other pieces felt more abstract and seemed to be memories of urban spaces, such as Tunnel 1/4. This piece could be an upside down skateboarders half pipe, or what looked to me like a shelter at a bus stop, but made with portrait canvas, so wouldn’t keep you dry from the rain. Societal suggestions found in her work makes this exhibit a portrait of our times.
The bright pink L shaped piece, Building per hour/bin shelter, was the most powerful in the way that it allowed me to attach my own meaning to it. It was painted in horizontal gradation, that looked like a sedimentary scene of pink, and triggered the idea that this L is a sample of an Anthropocene of gender.
I feel slightly guilty that this work seems to speak to me. The domestic scenes. The pink. The metaphorical bus shelter implying, in waiting. These are historical female themes. And as much as I hate the themes that these pieces are hinting at, I still find her work appealing. It is a conundrum. Is it like secretly enjoying a romantic comedy? This work is far from Bridget Jones. This work feels like Tessa Lynch in drag walking the streets at a flâneur’s pace through a disapproving lens.
Her work at first glance appears simple and playful, but when you take the time, rich meaning is revealed. Similar, I suppose, in how many of us are initially judged, especially if you are female.
This exhibition was on at Spike Island in Bristol from 8 July to 17 September 2017.