Musings for November 2018

              Linder Sterling - A Punk in The Peaks

I remember some months ago reporting to the Sheffield Visual Arts Group that Chatsworth House has its first artist - in - residence, Linder Sterling.  Since then her name has cropped up on occasion so I thought it time to find out this artist’s "provenance" and what she achieved in her six month residency in the Derbyshire peaks.


This announcement came after the British artist was revealed to be a recipient of a major art award. Namely, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award worth £60,000, and is intended to allow freedom for the winner to develop creatively, personally and professionally.


Born in 1954 in Liverpool, she first came to attention in 1977 for the artwork she created for the punk band the BUZZCOCKS. The work was very provocative and raw and featured a naked woman with an iron for a head.


Best known for her subversive photo montages, Linder has been working with collage for over forty years using photographs she found from the early C20th to today. She uses this medium to explore the treatment of the female body often making a point about the cultural expectations of women, and creating new imagery and fresh meanings that are most distinct from the course material.


She was also the lead singer in the punk band LUDUS which then spurred her on to try performance art.  Long before Lady Gaga in 1982 she created and wore a dress made of meat for a performance at Manchester’s Hacienda. 


During her six months at Chatsworth,  Linder immersed herself in the life of the estate and its workers the landscape around her with its changing seasons. Spending days exploring the attics , she has created a new image bank to provide a resource for future montages.  The Duke of Devonshire said on her arrival.


               “  We are tremendously excited to invite Linder to interpret Chatsworth 

                                             through her own individual lens “  


There is no doubt that this is what she did.  She  has produced an eclectic canon of work including an incense from the aromatic woods and plants on the estate. Linder has also created images on textiles in collaboration with fashion designers, recorded oral history and used the everyday sounds of the house within musical compositions.


The exhibition finished in October 2018 but I am sure that over the coming years we will see intriguing pieces that living at Chatsworth made possible and are a celebration of the glory

of a place on our doorstep.



Denise West 

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