10 years of 4 Generations of Women

TT Journal, ISSUE 5, 20th January 2023

By Tereza Violet Stehlikova

This project began in summer 2012. I was spending my summer in South Bohemia, together with my daughter Anna, as well as my mother and grandmother. Neither my father, grandfather, brother or my partner were there. It was a purely female company and the different, undiluted energy was notable, both still and incredibly tense. The tension was there for a number or reasons, not least because my grandmother was in mourning, having recently lost her husband of 60 years.

I began filming, tentatively, using the camera as a tool for quiet observation. I was intrigued by this unique constellation of 4 generations of women, but also under a spell of its dynamic, which I myself was part of. I began filming, uncomfortable, unsure where I was heading.

4 Generations of Women, 2012

More than decade on I look back at a series of short films, a number of public film screenings, presentations, discussions, which took place in London, Prague, Vienna, Tokyo , as well as an exhibition 4 Generations of Women: From you to Me, as part of Alchemy Film and Arts, in Hawick, 2019.

Along the way another daughter arrived to join the living female line, so that now the gap between the birth of the oldest and the youngest is more or less a century.

I have written a number of reflections about the project, amongst these The 4 Generations of Women Topography for The Learned Pig Magazine in 2021 as well as my personal blog https://cinestheticfeasts.com/.

With each new sharing I am processing these relationships, reflecting on their significance, adding yet another layer to the common narrative, adjusting my perspective, finding out new connections.

So to mark this decade of framing moments I simply want to offer you three of the short films I made along the way: One relatively recent one, from December 2021, the second one from December 2015 (both these filmed in my grandmother’s apartment, in the centre of Prague, where she has been living most of her life). And the third one, from summer 2018, filmed in South Bohemia, just before my second daughter was born.

Between Jirina and Anna, 2015

4 Generations of Women: A Moment Held, 2021

Water Rituals, 2018

Tereza Violet Stehlikova is a Czech/UK artist and educator, currently based in Prague. She holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art, where she researched the tactile language of moving image. She works primarily in moving image and participatory performance. Her work is informed by her ongoing exploration of the role of all our senses and our embodiment in communicating meaning, often using narratives to help activate imagination and provide a framework. Beyond this, the core themes in her creative practice are built around our human relationship to landscape and place in general, while exploring how our environment can become an extension of our inner worlds. Her work can be found on her research blog: https://cinestheticfeasts.com/