Jamie Reid / Ragged Kingdom


Built in the late teens out of the long-standing collaboration between Jamie Reid and John Marchant, Ragged Kingdom is a cross-pollination of creation and exhibition, hybridizing cultural commentary and fashionable design. Marchant is a gallerist and curator based out of Brighton in the UK who has worked for 25 years with Jamie Reid, one of the defining artists of British Punk. Reid's work, often using ransom note, cut-and-paste lettering and spare but hectic designs have become some of the most recognizable works of rock art of the period, particularly the album sleeves he did for the Sex Pistols in the 70s. His designs for "God Save the Queen'' and "Anarchy in the U.K." have been used as samples and source material for countless design remixes and remain ubiquitous even to this day.

During their stay in the Knighton Woods, a locality on the Welsh-English border, Marchant and Reid began to reshape and remodel some of their exhibitions and gallery work of the same name into the designs that appear in Ragged Kingdom. The thick and gloomy birches, hazels and hollies of the area have been home and altar to the practice and culture of Druids, Pagans and Bards for innumerable centuries, and their influence is prominent in the work. Reid traces his genealogy in the Druid Order back to his great uncle George who was a mantle of the Order around the turn of the century, with ties to the Golden Dawn. Though the canonical texts of the Druid Order are a relatively new artifact, they still donate the concept of "Universal Majesty. Verity. Love Infinite" to Ragged Kingdoms' ethics and design.

Marchant and Reid merge the spiritual and community conscious ideals of the Order with the stark and aggressive aesthetics of punk, selling a shirt sporting the motto "MORE LIGHT" next to one arguing that "A BRICK WILL DO THE TRICK."

The ideas and images are rooted in authenticity and genuine desire to do good, core tenets of punk. Punk is inseparable from anti-capitalist demand for change, and in the U.K. it was also opposed to the Monarchy, with roots in the community work of the Diggers, a Protestant radical group from the 17th century, proponents of land-based libertarianism. However, while Marchant and Reid are well-versed in the prerequisite of authenticity and the deep history of punk, they are not interested in "picking over the bones" of Punk's glory days. Instead, through Ragged Kingdom, they have found a way to bring Punk's raw creativity into a modern seat, from which they hope to inspire thought and mobilize change.
Statement by Omar El-Sabrout

Visit the Ragged Kingdom online shop at
raggedkingdom.com ↗︎