Linder, Joining Valley, 2013
There’s a lot to enjoy in the summer exhibition at Tate St Ives, some of which I’ll quite likely write about later, but the work that really made me smile was one of Linder’s collages. I was already enjoying looking at this work and at the way the series of small collages shared a space with sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, but my enjoyment of Joining Valley wasn’t really about the work at all. It was one of those moments when something you haven’t thought about in years is suddenly brought back to mind by a chance encounter with an image on a gallery wall.
For me, Joining Valley is all about the kettle.
I had a kettle like that. For years. It was the one I bought when I started university more years ago than I’d care to think about (though the orange of the on/off switch gives the game away to an extent).
Bringing together woman and object, these collages borrow much from the wider culture, drawing on the visual language of magazines. But they also talk about the ways in which photography and sculpture interact and situating them in the same space as Hepworth’s work emphasises this without it feeling like a point is being laboured. There is a simplicity the collages that works well; and the playfulness of the images means they can be enjoyed at face value as well as becoming a starting point for reflection.
In my case though, the presence of that kettle meant I unexpectedly spent a good while with my head firmly in the past.
Tate St Ives Summer 2013 continues until 29 September 2013.