Jamie Reid’s ‘Ragged Kingdom’ comes to Holbeck’s Temple Works

Jamie Reid – the pioneering and world-renowned artist of punk art who put the safety pin into the Queen’s nose – is coming to Leeds, bringing his 40 year retrospective and current show “Ragged Kingdom” to Temple.Works.Leeds for the month of June 14-July 14, writes Susan Williamson.

There will be sound and fury, art, punk, poets, food and drink inside a Grade One Listed building site. While most notorious for his iconic work with the Sex Pistols, graphic artist Reid is as well known for his long career as the punchline in the side of capitalism, who still paints “damn them all” over the images of the Monarchy.

Monday May 28th saw the re-release of God Save the Queen by the remaining Sex Pistols to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee. Jamie makes a much greater point about authority and its abuse especially in today’s political, economic and social climate. A one-man history of unwavering dissent, he is one of the greatest of English iconoclast artists.

A lifelong Druid and devoted to the anarchic energy of DIY graphics, his art has inspired thousands of imitators from all fields of art, fashion, marketing and illustration and launched whole generations of young artists and designers on their careers…starting with the ritual ripping up of both newspaper and party lines.

Since his first visit in the summer of 2009 Jamie has wanted to exhibit his work at Temple.Works.Leeds, the Grade One Listed heritage monument in Holbeck (one of only two in Leeds) with its extreme vistas, both raw and figured, and its history at the heart of the second Industrial revolution.

The former flax mill with the stunning Egyptian temple frontage was once the largest room in the world and had worker-sheep grazing on its grassed roof in the 1840’s, contributing to an environmental engineering model since unequalled.

Built by famous Victorian industrialist John Marshall it was worked primarily by women whose children went to school in the two-acre undercroft.

While this extraordinary feat of engineering – physical and social – is undergoing lengthy structural repairs after the closing down in 2004, artists have taken up residence in the rest of the site as part of privately run project with Planning Consent for Temporary Change of use to a cultural venue.

Not for the faint of heart – or indeed anyone in stilettos – it is the rough and raw areas where Jamie will install his work, with the collections spanning forty years and including Suburban Press, Sex Pistols, How To Become Invisible/Leaving The C20th, Strongroom and Afro Celt Soundsystem-related material, as well as work that is associated with Jamie’s current Eightfold Year project, the magnificent towering teepees.

During the month long exhibition there will be a number of associated events open to the public featuring punk music and DIY, printing, oral and industrial history events, as well as free/live art demonstrations.

All such will be advertised on the www.templeworksleeds.com and on random, surprise posters and flyers popping up around Leeds. Watch out! Jamie himself is designing the marketing material to launch this exhibition and will be present for many of these events.

It is along with him and Isis Gallery that Temple.Works.Leeds invites the public to an un-ticketed exhibition and to the launch party on June 14, 6:30-9:30. Interns and stewards will be invigilating throughout the month-long show and this is a chance for those who have never been inside the extraordinary 6 acre Temple.Works.Leeds to get into the privately owned site, while seeing the graphic art that defined a generation and inspired the next. (Please note that under-fifteens cannot be admitted as Temple.Works.Leeds is still partially a building site).


Opening June 14, 6:30pm -9:30 pm at Temple.Works.Leeds on Marshall Street, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 9YJ. Closing midnight on July 14 at Temple.Works.Leeds • In addition to the launch party on June 14, June 15 will feature a music night of classic Punk while Saturday June 16 will have live/free art demonstrations.  One day will be Family Day at which time those 12 and over can enter if accompanied by an adult, one adult per child. Date to be announced. • Opening times: unless otherwise noted, the exhibition will be open from Saturday June 16 to Saturday July 14 as follows: Wed – Fri, 7-9pm. Fri also 12-5 pm. Saturdays and Sundays 12 noon – 5pm. o Parking free after 7pm Mon-Fri and on weekends. Accessible. Limited toilets. Bar during events, water available during exhibition visits.