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Linder Sterling, Corner House Publishing, Dazed
Photography by Linder Sterling

Feminist Icon Linder Sterling’s Surrealist Portraiture

From surrealist portraiture to menstrual jewellery, we look back on the work of the radical feminist icon

Confronting gender construction and its ties to capitalism and culture, Liverpool-born Linder Sterling is an art radical. In 1977, she produced one of her most iconic pieces, The Buzzcocks “Orgasm Addict” sleeve, honing a style that would see her cement her signature aesthetic – soft and serene beauties collaged with cut-and-paste flowers and luscious lips. Like Hannah Hoch in the Weimar era, Sterling found inspiration in sexualisation, desire, morbidity and non-conformity in order to free women from their social constraints. But producing art that challenged the notions of 'what it means to be a woman'  didn't come without its controversy. “When I made my first collages in 1976, Rank Xerox refused to photocopy them. There were only two places in Manchester that you could get photocopies made and I’d already been turned down by the other one,” Sterling told us in 2012. “I had to send the collages to Jon Savage, in London, where he managed to have copies made. I wouldn’t fancy my chances walking into Prontoprint tomorrow with the new collages and that’s fine – lines have to be drawn somewhere.”