Royal Derby Hospital - Invitation to Launch Event

Air Arts in the Gallery, Level 3, Main Entrance, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby Healthcare plc, Uttoxeter Road, Derby DE22 3NE. Turning thousands of clothing labels into works of art, reflecting on historic garment manufacturers such as Meridian Ltd 1885. Exhibition running from March to October 2019.
Launch event Monday 18th March 4.30 to 5:30pm at the Royal.


Collaboration 2018

I will be collaborating with BENSON & CLEGG in 2018, using their bespoke label to assemble a portrait of King George VI, (Benson & Clegg are proud to have held the Royal Warrant to His Majesty). King George VI instituted the George Cross award and I will be using the 418 recipients names to assemble the royal portrait. The collaboration will mark the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation and will be exhibited in the Window at Benson & Clegg, 9 Piccadilly Arcade, Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6NH, from 1st June - 29th June 2018


Bovine Tuberculosis

In 2010 I visited a British Longhorn Farm in Leicestershire where I met Rochester, a prize-winning bull in his prime. At almost 4 years old Rochester’s life had been centered on his first class image and ability to win prizes in the show ring, winning bull of the year in 2009. Following my visit I reproduced Rochester using 5000 used clothing labels, the resulting portrait reflecting on human behaviour and our desire to look good in the clothes that we wear. Sadly I have recently discovered that shortly after my encounter with Rochester he was sold to another breeder where he subsequently caught Bovine Tuberculosis and had to be put to sleep. Terrible news. I also discovered that Rochester’s semen had been kept for breeding purpose and that an offspring had been born. I hope to visit the farm in 2018 and follow the young bulls progress.

Rochester Longhorn Cattle Society 'Bull of the year 2009'

Rochester Longhorn Cattle Society 'Bull of the year 2009'

6000 Name tapes

When I heard the news about the Duke of Edinburgh stepping down from his official royal duties in the autumn of 2017, I immediately saw an opportunity for a project that would celebrate his contribution to The DofE Award since 1956. My idea was to use the names of people who had completed their DofE Award at Bronze, Silver or Gold. The names would be woven onto cotton tapes and used to assemble the Duke’s portrait with dressmaker pins on canvas. The response to the callout to put forward a name was fantastic and within a week I had gathered the names of 100 lucky participants. Some people put forward their own name while others put forward a friend or relatives name as a surprise gift. I received a name from Canada, and a Gold DofE participant who collected her award 38 years ago at Buckingham Palace from the Duke himself.  By special invitation the portrait also includes the name of Double Olympic Champion Dame Kelly Holmes (Silver Award), also well-known TV presenter Jim Rosenthal (Gold Award).

The portrait measures 88cm high x 72cm wide, it took 209 hours to assemble and used 130grams of dressmaker pins.  The portrait will be exhibited in the window at The Makers, 47 Church Street, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1AE from Friday 17th November until Friday 24th November 2017. It will be displayed for the first time alongside the WW1 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of the royal couple.

Dairy Cow with 5000 used labels & pins

Dairy Cow evolved following the collection of 20,000 used labels, gathered from garments identified as rags. The research was centred around identity and consumerism, also a realisation of how much we need and rely on cattle. The 1.3 metre canvas attracted much media attention and won the £2000 prize at Weston Park Open Exhibition, Shropshire in 2011. It has since been the focus of several solo exhibitions and site specific window installations. 

Dairy Cow has been admired by many, viewers often returning for a second or third viewing to contemplate my technique. I am delighted to say that today Dairy Cow was sold to an extremely happy customer and now resides in a new home in Derbyshire. 

Joy Pitts Dairy Cow.jpg

Moths with clothing labels & pins

I have been making artwork with new and used clothing labels for some 20 years.  It came to my attention that the structure, colour and texture of a label is very similar to that of a fluffy moth. Often strikingly coloured and patterned, and sometimes dull and camouflaged. The reverse of a woven label is an artwork in itself with threads of textured colour reflecting each branded logo. Metallic moth colours can also be matched to silk printed clothing and care labels. From the 165,000 species of Lepidoptera I have selected six insects for reproduction. 

Collection of six moths will be available to purchase at The Makers, 47 Church Street, Ashbourne DE6 1AE from mid September, or contact me direct, 30 x 30 cm box framed in white. 

Collection of six moths will be available to purchase at The Makers, 47 Church Street, Ashbourne DE6 1AE from mid September, or contact me direct, 30 x 30 cm box framed in white.