Linder’s (born 1954) interest in Barbara Hepworth began in 2009, when Tate St Ives first worked with her, to present a new performance work Your actions are my dreams as part of the exhibition The Dark Monarch: Magic and modernity in Britain 1900 – 2009. Whilst in St Ives, Linder visited the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden for the first time, at the invitation of Tate Collective (then known as Young Tate). Seeing the works in situ enabled Linder to fully comprehend the legacy of Hepworth’s work and how that legacy could be projected forward into areas of contemporary practice and debate.
During her residency at No. 5 Porthmeor Studios, as part of the Tate St Ives Artists Programme, Linder further researched the life and work of Hepworth, specifically Hepworth’s participation in the annual Penwith Arts Ball, her friendship with the composer Priaulx Rainier and Hepworth’s costume and set designs for opera. Linder also became interested in other female artists and writers who had spent time in the locale – Virginia Woolf, Romaine Brooks, Gluck, Marlow Moss, Daphne du Maurier et al. During this time Linder started her blog I am the Landscape, which documented many of these interests and created her Fossil 2014 collage series. She also began a further set of collages for Archi Dior 2014.
The Ultimate Form
The Ultimate Form 2014 by Linder, a major new performance piece, was presented on Saturday 8 February, in St Ives Theatre and watched by over 200 people. Based on Hepworth’s monumental sculptural work The Family of Man 1970, it is a ballet choreographed by Linder and Kenneth Tindall of Northern Ballet, performed by dancers from Northern Ballet, featuring costumes created by fashion designer Richard Nicoll and a score by Stuart McCallum of The Cinematic Orchestra.
Linder also delivered Workshop: Performing Art with choreographer Kenneth Tindall. During the one day workshop, participants developed a performance inspired by Ben Nicholson’s 1934 project for Massine for Beethoven 7th Symphony Ballet. The workshop took place in No. 5, Porthmeor Studios, used by Linder during her residency and occupied by Nicholson from 1949 to 1958.
Inspired by her body of previously unexplored research into the Arts Ball St Ives (from St Ives Archive and Penwith Gallery Archive), Linder collaborating with stylist Clare Buckley and worked with a collection of 20,000 costumes at the St Ives Theatre as part of Workshop: The Arts Ball. The workshop took its starting point from a photograph of Barbara Hepworth and the composer Priaulx Rainier at the Penwith Arts Ball in St Ives in 1952 and invited participants to explore creating another self, using a selection of costumes.
Working with CIRCUIT, Linder invited the Wigan Young Souls dancers to collaborate with Cornish teenagers and a visiting student from the Royal Ballet. Filming of this collaboration took place in locations associated with Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, at No. 5 Porthmeor Studios and at the home of the Crypt Group, as well as at the St Ives Theatre, St Ia’s Well and Porthmeor Beach.
Linder played a key part in the late 1970s punk and post-punk scene in Manchester, creating the photomontage used for the Buzzcocks’ debut single Orgasm Addict in 1977. She has had numerous solo exhibitions since with major retrospectives at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville Paris and at Kestnergesellschaft Hanoverin 2013, she also had solo shows at Hepworth Wakefield, Blum & Poe Los Angeles and Tate St Ives. In July 2012, Linder won the third Latitude Contemporary Art prize with her Stringed Figure (Octobass for the 21st Century) (Version I), a sculptural instrument inspired in part by Barbara Hepworth and composer Hector Berlioz.