Lynn Hutchinson Lee


I’m a multidisciplinary artist/writer living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For several decades I exhibited widely as a visual and installation artist before gradually switching my focus to writing.

My parents, Grace Fugler and Leonard Hutchinson, were painters and printmakers with a strong commitment to social justice and human rights, and their artistic and political legacy is threaded into my artmaking. Identity also informs my work: on my father’s side I’m descended from the Romanichal Lee family (English Romanies); my mother’s people were Scottish, English, Irish (and German if you go back far enough). I’m what Romanichals call a poshrat (half-blood).

I’m a member of two artists’ collectives: Red Tree (Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario) and chirikli (Toronto and Sarajevo, Bosnia/Herzegovina). Chirikli collective’s sound installation, Canada Without Shadows, was exhibited in Call the Witness at the Roma Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy; BAK (basis voor aktuelle kunst) Utrecht, Netherlands; and Romania’s National Museum for Contemporary Art.

For a look into curator Suzana Milevska’s engagement with chirikli in “Beyond the Roma Caravan: Meet Lynn Hutchinson Lee and Hedina Sijercic,” read Gender Assignment:  Visit it >>

Identity and art practice were the focus of my keynote presentation “Poshrat (half/blood): making art in a precarious identity” at York University’s Imaginative Ethnography Symposium: Imagining Canada’s Futures with Romani Refugees; as well as in my arts workshop “The confluence of creation, identity and social engagement”  Visit it >>  My short story “the morning i died I flew over the tobacco fields” was workshopped as a multimedia performance developed in collaboration with Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston and the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography.

Recently I was first place winner of the 2022 Joy Kogawa Award for Fiction Visit it >>, and my flash fiction “My Heart Alive as a Sandfly in the Towering Wave” was selected as editor’s choice for best flash in Guernica Editions’ anthology This Will Only Take a Minute: 100 Canadian Flashes. My writing also appears in Room (Canada); Wagtail: the Roma Women’s Poetry Anthology (Butcher’s Dog, U.K.); Food of My People and Cli Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate (both from Exile Editions, Canada) and elsewhere. My short fiction “Vestigial Structures” in Stone to Stone: Writing by Romani Women is forthcoming from Propertius Press, U.S. I’m currently co-editing the anthology Through the Portal: Stories from a Hopeful Dystopia, forthcoming from Exile Editions, 2024.


This puppet, made by my dad and his family, is the last of several hand-made puppets from their life in England, where they travelled across Lancashire in their vardo (caravan), performing at local fairs. Around 1910 they came with their puppets to Southern Ontario. Along with their work as itinerant tobacco pickers, the family built houses, tarred roofs, painted signs, and performed at the garden parties of wealthy farmers in the Tillsonburg-Delhi tobacco belt. Our one remaining puppet, over 100 years old, is our family guardian, and the inspiration for much of my work. She’s made of wood, papier maché, paint, fabric, and is stuffed with straw.

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