Jamie Reid’s longstanding practice as an artist sits firmly within a tradition of English radical dissent that would include, for example, William Blake, Wat Tyler and Gerrard Winstanley. Like them, the work of dissent must offer, out of necessity, other social and spiritual models and Reid’s practice is no exception.
Although Reid is known primarily for the deployment of Situationist strategies in his iconic work for the Sex Pistols and Suburban Press, the manifold strands of his art both continue that work whilst showing us other ways in which we can mobilise our energy and spirituality. It is this dialectic between gnosticism and dissent that lies at the heart of Reid’s practice and makes him one of the great English iconoclastic artists.
Jamie Reid’s unique vision articulates and gives form to some of the key issues of our times. He responds to the ever-increasing attacks on our civil liberties and shared common spaces with passionate anger and savage humour, and shows us ways in which we might re-organise our political and spiritual resources. This is the role of the shaman and Reid’s art acts like a lightning rod, returning us to the earth so that we might share the work of healing.