Linder Sterling is a visual artist, performance artist and musician from Manchester, England who also uses the single name “Linder”.
Born Linda Mulvey in Liverpool in 1954, she spent her adolescence and most of her adult life in Manchester. She studied art at Manchester Polytechnic 1974-1977. She now lives and works in Lancashire.
A radical feminist and a well-known figure of the Manchester punk and post-punk scene, Linder was known for her montages, which often combined images taken from pornographic magazines with images from women’s fashion and domestic magazines, particularly those of domestic appliances, making a point about the cultural expectations of women and the treatment of female body as a commodity. Many of her works were published in the punk collage fanzine Secret Public, which she co-founded with Jon Savage.
One of her best-known pieces of visual art is the single cover for Orgasm Addict by Buzzcocks (1977), showing a naked woman with an iron for a head and grinning mouths instead of nipples. “At this point, men’s magazines were either DIY, cars or porn. Women’s magazines were fashion or domestic stuff. So, guess the common denominator — the female body. I took the female form from both sets of magazines and made these peculiar jigsaws highlighting these various cultural monstrosities that I felt there were at the time.” Linder was also partners with Howard Devoto, a founding member of Buzzcocks who left the group to form Magazine.