with Jamie Reid
Part of the Where Are We Now? Festival
Sowing Seeds with Jamie Reid
This project was a small part of the Where Are We Now? festival that took place over three days at the UK City of Culture and was a multi-headed festival of politics, performance and provocation.
Where Are We Now? was convened by Neu! Reekie!, the Scottish counter-cultural pranksters, which ensured the event was full of questioning and mischief-making.
One of the many provocative artists to be included in the festival was Jamie Reid, who I had become aware of through my punk artist brother, Thayen, who introduced me to DIY culture and free festivals back in the day and who, like Jamie Reid, continues to produce edgy art.
I like to think I was invited to be involved in this small activity by my then manager, Sam Hunt, due to my past involvement with underground media and the free party scene in the 1990s, including GuilFin Media (a project featured elsewhere on this website). And it also gives me an excuse to promote my brother here!
With his anarchic, seditionary, DIY aesthetic, Reid best known for works which include the Sex Pistols album Never Mind the Bollocks and singles such as Anarchy in the UK and God Save the Queen. Less known is that Jamie was brought up as a Druid, and he is the great nephew of the old Chief Druid, and founder of the Ancient Druid Order, George Watson MacGregor Reid.
Jamie and his gallerist John Marchant were involved in the UK City of Culture with an exhibition at the Humber Street Gallery and also wild flower seed fling in the city, all as part of the Neu! Reekie! Where Are We Now Festival taking place over a long weekend.
The local Open Doors refugee programme was invited to join in a symbolic gesture to underpin the practical beautifying of what was a unloved spot in the city. The idea was for attendees to take away seeds to sew wherever they chose and for Chief Druid Philip Carr-Gomm to read a prayer written by Maria Ede-Weaving.
Punk Then & Now
The link between this project, with it’s counter-culture connections and the work of Jamie Reid, and my route into running events and festivals, is strong. One of my first cultural projects was producing the GuilFin party and protest guide which came out of the DIY scene. The artwork for the popular publication was done by my punk-aesthetic artist brother Thayen – who also got me (literally under the Heras fencing and also figuratively) into festivals…