Friday, 21st Mar 2014
We are proud to introduce anarchic and influential artist, Jamie Reid, to the 2014 Laurel Wreath Blank Canvas project.
Accredited with defining the look of the late 70s punk rock scene, Jamie’s work includes one of the most famous album covers of all time, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. Some 40 years on his work continues to inspire individuality and free-thinking.
The Blank Canvas project itself acts as a platform for thoughts, ideas and concepts that connect with the Laurel Wreath and what it stands to represent. Each season artists, brands or collectives are invited to customise individual pieces, in turn bringing a fresh interpretation of both their work and the garment. Jamie Reid's three designs speak of both his wit and sense of rebellion.
Belfast born, London raised, Jamie Reid was brought up in a politically active environment. During the 60s, he attended Art College with future Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren. A committed anarchist from a young age, he left the capital in the early 70s, for France, and co-founded anarchistic publishing house Suburban Press. It was during this time he developed his trademark ransom note style graphics, that went onto define the look of punk.
His return to London in the mid-70s led him to the newly formed Sex Pistols. He designed the cover for the group’s debut (and only) studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols and also co-wrote the lyrics of one of the groups most popular songs Anarchy in the UK.
The artist has continued to dedicate his work to thought provoking political ideas and messages. His touring exhibition ‘Peace is Tough’ reached cities from New York to Tokyo. The tour presented an archive of imagery spanning the decades, elements of which are present in extremely important international collections, including that of the Tate, acknowledging Reid’s importance in the narrative of 20th and 21st century culture.
In his three symbolic Blank Canvas shirt designs Jamie is inspired by three defined periods of work.
A SHORT SHARP SHOCK
Using the classic Black/Champagne twin tipped shirt as a base, the artist has applied a screen-print of his trademark ransom cut-out letters to carry the message A Short Sharp Shock. The phrase was originally used in Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1885 comic opera, The Mikado, which later became popular in music and symbolises Reid’s connection to the punk movement. The shirt is finished with a bronze embroidered Laurel Wreath and a white screen printed Jamie Reid signature on the hem including his signature OVA symbol.
PEACE IS TOUGH
Using the Fred Perry shirt in its purest form as a base, Jamie has applied multi-coloured screen prints and embroidery to illustrate Boudicca shaking her spear at the Houses of Parliament. The imagery, inspired by his time at anarchistic publishing house Suburban Press, symbolises the artists uprising to order and the establishment. The back of the shirt is fully screen printed in red with Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People in revolt, framed by the towers of Croydon. An embroidered OVO logo couples with a Peace Is Tough print to complete the message. Finished with a black Laurel Wreath embroidery.
TIME FOR MAGIC SHIRT
In his third and final design, Jamie uses the solid black shirt to showcase some of his more recent work. The screen-printed Hare, a symbol of free-thinking, is a direct signal to Joseph Beuys, whose work ‘Free International University’ acted as a blueprint for numerous counter-cultural initiatives of the late 1960s. A combination of print and embroidery is used to create a collage of OVAs to the front. Finished with bronze Laurel Wreath embroidery.
All three designs have been produced in limited numbers for both men and women and come delivered in a special edition Jamie Reid printed envelope. You can view more detailed product images and shop the collection on our website.
Tuesday, 18th Mar 2014
Last week, we visited SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. What originally began as a $10 music showcase has grown to be one of the best-known festivals in the USA, drawing over 25,000 official registrants for a two week conference focusing on interactive technology, music and film. Every year, hundreds of artists travel from all over the globe to play to crowds at what's known by many as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’. SXSW is just as well known for its official schedule as it is for off-calendar gigs, with musicians lining the city’s historic 6th Street and taking over barbeques, carparks and patios.
British acts have been flocking to SXSW for years and 2014 was no exception. From relative newcomers such as Thumpers, Temples and Wolf Alice to super-acts like Damon Albarn and Coldplay; SXSW offers the opportunity to see big names in small settings and a platform for some of the UK’s best new music. The BBC's Huw Stephens hosted his annual showcase at the intimate Latitude 30, presenting British artist Bipolar Sunshine to a packed-out crowd. Other stand-out performances came from Baltimore trio Future Islands and the hotly tipped Chlöe Howl.
British artists also featured in the SXSW Film schedule - former Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins premiered The Possibilities Are Endless, the story of his recovery after a stroke left him without memory and able to utter just two phrases: 'the possibilities are endless' and his wife's name, 'Grace Maxwell'. The poignant film, directed by James Hall and Edward Lovelace, received an incredible response from both critics and attendees at the festival.
Whilst SXSW continues to grow - pop behemoth Lady Gaga held a keynote speech - its charm still lies in the presentation of break-through acts from across the globe, many of whom may be headlining festivals this time next year.