Usually preoccupied with minding the gap, Transport for London recently filled a rather large one with the eye-popping work of British collage artist Linder.
The 85-meter-long canvas/billboard outside Southwark Tube Station, titled ’The Bower of Bliss’, is the culmination of the artist’s four-month residency in the borough and the women she uncovered along the way.
Linder Sterling has been working with photomontage for the past three decades, using images lifted from erotic, fashion and domestic magazines. For this piece, she’s been cleverly pieced together to depict Londinium sex workers in AD 43; the Night Queen from Mozart’s opera ‘The Magic Flute’; and even some of the women who run London Underground today. In doing so, she hopes to challenge and disrupt the cultural expectations placed upon women and their bodies by reclaiming them to form a picture of empowerment.
The work is part of the #BehindEveryCity, a project by our pals at TfL which aims to push underrepresented female artists to the fore, as well as some of the trailblazing women who came before them. This recent addition certainly does that, through scale alone. Our Southwark sisters would/will be proud!