JAMIE REID, whose artwork defined popular music in the last quarter of the 20th century, has spent the last two decades living in Liverpool.
He's not among those puffed up figures who pops up at the opening of a ciggie packet. Instead, you'll have to look under the mainstream radar to find an artist busy getting on with stuff. And fairly prodigious stuff at that.
Yet it was Reid who, in 1976, created what was to become one of the loudest and most instantly recognisable cultural statements of all: the Sex Pistols record cover designs including Never Mind The Bollocks, Anarchy in the UK - to which he co-wrote the lyrics - and God Save The Queen.
Reid is labelled with that - but there is an important lot more: always politically engaged and engaging, he has produced graphics and art for some of the key campaigns of the last 30 years, including Anti-Poll Tax, Criminal Justice Bill, Clause 28, Occupy and Reclaim the Streets.
His work is considered timeless and this, coincidentally the 40th anniversary year of punk, seems as good a moment as any to lift the lid with a major careeer retrospective. Fittingly, it's not in a mainstream gallery.
No, Dingle's Florence Institute is the venue for Jamie Reid’s Casting Seeds, on now until October 18.
Casting Seeds follows hot on the heels of Jimmy Cauty's ADP show in July which saw around 3,000 visitors make the trip to the historic Mill Street venue over the course of a week. This, the Florrie says, "is another landmark cultural offering".
READ MORE: Jimmy Cauty Brings Hit Riot Show to L8
Florrie CEO Anne Lundon said: “I’m overjoyed to host this prestigious and unique exhibition by the one and only Jamie Reid. He’s an absolute gem. This is a real coup for The Florrie. This exhibition brings together work from Germany, Milan and Brighton, and will be a unique showcase of Jamie’s career. And what’s more, it’s free. The Florrie brings back punk!”
Casting Seeds features Reid's original Sex Pistols mural, flown in specially from Milan.
Those with a weather eye on Liverpool's cultural history will remember Reid's collaboration with Kif Higgins, Maxine Brown and Jonathan Swain in the landmark graphics and cultural events organisation Visual Stress. He is also a founder member of fusion band Afro Celt Sound System, for whom he did all the visuals and artwork for current album, The Source.
But despite this long-term relationship with the city, Casting Seeds is his only exhibition since Jump Ship Rat in 2001. As such – and featuring as it does work never before seen here - interest in this exhibition is exceptionally high.
There are three elements to the project: Time for Magic will be a giant site-specific wall collage within the building. It's a first for the city and incorporates works from throughout Reid's career, such as his God Save series, Peace is Tough, Time for Magic and much more.
Some of the clue is in the name and Casting Seeds will literally do just that, with the production of 10,000 seedcards, containing Liverpool Perennial wildflower seeds. These will be distributed through local communities throughout the city. The aim is to carpet the city grot-spots with colourful flowers, which will return again and again. This will be his answer to the Biennial. The Liverpool Perennial will “let a thousand flowers bloom” according to Jamie.
Casting Seeds is also the title of the main exhibition, which brings together his tipi, wall-hangings, work from throughout his career, and rarities to really attract the enthusiasts.
Anne Lundon said: “The fact that both Jimmy Cauty and Jamie Reid chose The Florrie to bring us their art here in the heart of the community speaks volumes. We all love the community, what it stands for as an ideal, what it represents today, and what it could be. What we’re all saying in our own ways and together, is there can be a better world.”
Jamie Reid’s ‘Casting Seeds’ LAUNCHES at The Florence Institute, 377 Mill Street, Liverpool L8 4RF on 9th September, 5-9pm. All welcome. The exhibition runs until 18 October 2016. Open 10-8, Mon-Sat. For further information, call 0151 728 2323.