It's been an interesting year for punk artist and anarchist, Jamie Reid.
His work was immortalised in Pistol, Danny Boyle's TV dramatisation of the life and times of the Sex Pistols and a huge haul of Sex Pistols memorabilia is being auctioned off at Sotheby's including dozens of flyers and posters designed by Reid.
But Jamie has also been hard at work on something entirely different - his OVA project. We’ve seen Jamie Reid scrawl his OVA symbol on all of his iconic artworks, from Fuck Forever to Bloody Empire. Now the anarchic artist has supersized his emblem, recreating it in a wildflower field in Cornwall.
For this fascinating project located in the Valentine’s Field at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Reid has united quite the team of collaborators, including John Marchant Gallery, The Sensory Trust, and The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and The National Wildflower Centre, each bringing their unique expertise to different facets of the project.
In today’s blog, we’re revealing a little more about Jamie Reid’s OVA project and its aims, as well as an unexpected outcome no one could have predicted…
What is the OVA Symbol?
The OVA combines the A for anarchy and V for victory symbols, and represents rebirth, growth and healing. Each point of the symbol represents the Eight-fold Year of the Druid Calendar, incorporating each of the Solstice and Equinox events.
Reid’s OVA is located in 11-acres of garden, sown with wildflowers, including chamomile, corn marigolds and field marigolds, making it a haven for bees and other pollinators.
The project is a, “deeply Druid expression and celebration of nature and the creative spirit, and shows how the two can be intimately linked in uplifting and profoundly healing ways.”
The aims of the project
Via this celestial clock, Reid aims to get people talking and thinking about the cycle of the year, and what each solstice and equinox represents.
Every six weeks, on each significant date on the calendar, events will be held at the site. Attendees will learn about the dates and what they represent, and will be regaled with a poem from the Local Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.
Working with the Sensory Trust, one of the primary aims of the project is to bring children with visual or aural impairments out into the natural landscape. Already, the impact of this has been far-reaching, as it quickly became clear that they were going to run into difficulties explaining the project to people using British Sign Language. As a result of the project, new sign language and widget symbols are being created to fill in those gaps.
Spreading the love
With the help of the National Wildflower Centre, so far over 300 kilos of wildflower seeds have been harvested from the project. In a simple and symbolic gesture, the team are taking these seeds to historically-significant sites around the UK, sowing flower seeds in places that could do with a little extra beauty.
In this picture, John Marchant can be seen sowing flower seeds at the site of what used to be HM Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s. This prison is known for its notorious H blocks where IRA suspects were detained. It was the site of many hunger strikes, including that of Bobby Sands, who died as a result.
True to form, Reid’s OVA project is a thoughtful act of both progress and protest that is sure to get people talking.