Artists and designers since the year dot have used creativity to critique the political landscape they find themselves in, and to fuel new possible ways of thinking.
From interrupting the pages of mainstream magazines, to staging large scale processions for causes such as the brilliant suffragettes’ parade that happened on 10 June this year*. If you’ve ever been annoyed about something in life, then you may have channeled that and used it to your advantage by getting creative.
*This article was written by Rosemary in 2018.
“We still have some time to take advantage of the fact that radio and television stations are not yet guarded by the army.” ― Guy Debord
For me, the word ‘recklessness’ perfectly describes how it feels to be in that impulsive yet creative moment. To let go. This reckless feeling might then create something that leads you to reclamation; the idea of emphasizing something that should belong to you. Or just like the women in the vote processions, celebrating something that you have a right to. Below are some examples of how different artists may be reckless in order to reclaim something important.
Credit: ‘No Feelings’ (1977). Courtesy Jamie Reid and John Marchant Gallery. Copyright Sex Pistols Residuals. Collection Tate.
“We are taught to believe and respect certain entities and figures as if we know them and trust them, but the truth is we don’t know them and we shouldn’t trust them, my work is not a form of propaganda to make us rebel, that would make me my own enemy. I would like it to be a gateway to help people develop their own ideas of everything in this world.” – Jamie Reid. Artist and anarchist Jamie Reid is probably best known for his ultra punk and iconic image of Queen Elizabeth with a safety pin through her nose that he created for the Sex Pistols to promote their single ‘God Save the Queen’ in 1977. Reid’s work is playful, political and persuasive – forever responding to the world around him.
During the Auto-Destructive Art movement there has been a curious lack of female-identifying artists. My own practice is designed to create spaces for women to destroy; for example engaging in food fights and trashing electric guitars. I also pour house gloss paint onto bus stop sized advertising posters to subvert the original intention of these glossy and smooth images into something more bizarre and often sinister
Chelsea College of Arts graduate Lana Locke’s work is predominantly sculptural and aims to explore the “struggle between art objects and the space in which they are installed. She uses her practice “as an avenue for exploring the tensions that exist between the artist, artistic activism and the art institute”. By featuring dis-guarded materials and references to the movement of the sea, ‘Material, Social, Tidal___Drift’ makes some serious points about how Margate is being affected by gentrification. This is the process of renovating of towns and neighbourhoods to conform to more middle-class tastes that leads to the gradual disappearance of working class communities.