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 know 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 in St Ives, Linder has been further researching 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 has also researched other female artists and writers who have spent time in the locale – Virginia Woolf, Romaine Brooks, Gluck, Marlow Moss, Daphne du Maurier et al. Over this time, Linder collaborated with Tate St Ives and its programmes including CIRCUIT where she 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 Studio 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 is currently working with the archive of 20,000 costumes at the St Ives Theatre and collaborating with the perfumer Persephenie Schnyder, Los Angeles to create a perfume based on the woods carved by Hepworth and the flowers in the Sculpture Garden.
The Ultimate Form
A major new performance piece, The Ultimate Form, was presented on Saturday 8 February, in St Ives Theatre. Forming part of the residency, it is a ballet choreographed by Linder and Kenneth Tindall of Northern Ballet, and performed by dancers from Northern Ballet. Based on Hepworth’s monumental sculptural work The Family of Man 1970, it features costumes created by fashion designer Richard Nicoll and a score by Stuart McCallum of The Cinematic Orchestra.
The Ultimate Form drew on Linder’s research into Hepworth’s life and work, where she explored the potential of performance in Hepworth’s sculpture, through parallels to her own radical, feminist practice which always routes her back to the formal as well as personal language of her subject.
Born in 1954, 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.