Introducing Soap Art – inspired by Jamie Reid

© Spring Equinox, Jamie Reid courtesy John Marchant Gallery

Jamie Reid was a radical protest artist who used his art to rally against social and cultural injustices and push the boundaries of the art world.  He also had a lifelong interest in Druidry.   Similarly, Lush push the boundaries of the cosmetics world and not only challenge the norm in retail, but also uses its platform to campaign for grassroots issues within human rights, animal rights and environmental protection.  

Jamie Reid most famously designed the artwork for the Sex Pistols single “God Save the Queen”, which was lauded as the single most iconic image of the punk era.  He also designed the album covers for musician, Lush’s music director and fellow druid Simon Emmerson’s band Afro Celt Sound System.  Simon sadly passed away a few months before Jamie in 2023, so this collaboration is in honour and celebration of Simon’s life.  

Mo Constantine (Lush Co-Founder & Product Inventor) and her son Jack took inspiration from Jamie Reid’s works of art that represent the four solar observances in the Druid’s wheel of the year and created a soap depicting each.  The Lush inventors create in the same way as artists – inspired by the world around them, and the resulting products are their way of telling a story.  These festivals represent our interconnectedness with the planet, and this really resonates with a brand that’s on a mission to leave the world lusher and create a cosmetics revolution to help save our planet.

Each piece of Soap Art channels Jamie Reid’s iconoclastic spirit and will launch aligned with the solar observances around the world, starting with Alban Eilier (Spring Equinox) on the 20th March and Alban Hefin (Summer Solstice) on 21st June.  All four will be available online and in 25 of Lush’s anchor shops around the world. 

Reid’s distinctive style is further explored in the upcoming global release of the Time for Magic book £26.99 (Watkins / Penguin Random House). Curated by Stephen Ellcock and introduced by John Marchant, the book highlights Reid’s incredible art around eight seasonal festivals with insights from Philip Carr-Gomm. 

In this new book, Stephen Ellcock and John Marchant, gallerist, curator and art director who represents the Jamie Reid Archive, introduce Jamie’s life, legacy and love of making trouble. John provides deep insight into Jamie’s work, and Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief Druid of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (of which Jamie was an Honorary Bard) writes about the Wheel of the Year, and how it can help us find a new way of being in this era of climate crisis.

Time for Magic features artworks that inspired the invention of four beautiful new Lush soaps and will be available in UK shops and online from the 20th June.

Artists at work…

All Lush soaps are made with a vegetarian base of coconut oil and rapeseed oil, that’s palm oil free, and sold unpackaged.  This collection however is more than just soap; it’s a celebration of the Earth’s bounty and a bold statement of art and activism, peppered with Jamie Reid’s punk defiance and a Druid’s wisdom. Multiple handmade techniques are used to craft the intricate detail of each soap, along with a wide variety of ingredients, infusions, fragrances and colours to ensure each one looks and smells as striking as the artworks they’re emulating. 

Just like a painting on a canvas, large display versions of the soaps will have additional details and decoration – from hand painted details to additional soap mixes dropped and swirled on top.

The Jamie Reid Soap Art collection:  

Alban Eilir (Spring Equinox soap) … Unleash the primal energy of spring with this soap that channels the Druidic reverence for the rebirth of nature at the spring equinox.  This isn’t just soap; it’s a ritualistic revival, a punk rock spell cast directly in your shower, celebrating the balance of light and darkness with every lather.  Relax and allow suds of coltsfoot infusion, oat flour and lemon to wash over you with the essence of wisdom and enlightenment, cleansing the mind and balancing the skin. 

Alban Hefin (Summer Solstice soap) … An anarchic artefact, a piece of art and a Druidic talisman all in one.  Bathing with it on the summer solstice—or any day—connects you to the power of the sun, the ancient wisdom of the Druids, and the punk rock rebellion against the fading of the light.  Bask in a lather of wild strawberries, blackberry leaf, bergamot and sweet mallow: embrace the surge of summer and let this soap be your guide through the cycles of nature and the art of rebellion.

Alban Elfed (Autumn Equinox soap) … Although day and night are of equal duration at the autumn equinox, the power of the sun is on the wane.  As we step into the darkening days, this soap celebrates the fruits of the harvest to feed the skin and soul. Made with sweet apple juice, sacred oakwood, finely blended portobello mushrooms and simmered hazelnuts, bathe in the essence of Alban Elfed and carry its harmony and gratitude into the waning year.

Alban Arthan (Winter Solstice soap) … More than a seasonal cleanser, this soap is an act of rebellion against the darkness and a piece of art that weaves together the revolutionary spirit of Jamie Reid’s artistry and the deep spiritual resonance of the winter solstice.  Comforting olive oil will nourish the skin, whilst from the embers of a fir needle perfume steals the sweet scent of chamomile, with barley and fresh watercress. This unique product transcends the ordinary, offering both a physical cleanse and a spiritual awakening.

Notes to editors

*Select Lush shops:
Lush London – Oxford Street
Lush London – Stratford City
Lush Liverpool
Lush Manchester – Trafford
Lush Manchester – Arnold
Lush Cardiff
Lush Sheffield – Meadowhall
Lush Bluewater

About Lush:

Since establishing in 1995, Lush has been driven by innovation and its ethics. Creators of pioneering beauty products, one of Lush’s most well-known creations is the bath bomb. Invented in 1989 by Lush Co-Founder Mo Constantine in her garden shed, bath bombs have become a global sensation – all hand pressed in Lush’s own manufacturing sites across the world, Lush sold over 40.5 million last year.

A beauty company with a campaigning heart, Lush is on a mission to create a product for every need and a cosmetic revolution to save the planet. The ultimate goal is to leave the world ‘Lusher than we found it’.

Lush operates a strict policy against animal testing and leads the cosmetics industry in combating over-packaging by developing products that can be sold ‘naked’ to the consumer. Lush Digital champions ethical hardware, ethical data, ethical design and open-source technologies and we support and elevate communities who feel the same.

Today, Lush operates in 52 countries with over 850 shops, 38 websites shipping worldwide and a global network of native apps, broadcasting channels and digital communities in over 30 languages.

For more information please email [email protected].

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