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

An archive of the High Street.

Artist-in-Residence at Erewash Museum 11th September – 31st October 2015. This residency provided an opportunity for me to present a body of work to the specific community that generated the material to produce it. The response was overwhelming and over the seven-week period I received over 600 visitors.

For 15 years I have gathered used labels from local charity shops, unpicking labels from the neck of rag garments. The 30,000 used labels in this collection have all been gathered from the High Street; therefore local residents were once walking around in these garments. This 15-year project proved an excellent way to engage a local audience, both in terms of presenting my work and in supporting their local Museum.

The work allowed visitors to reflect on historic local garment manufacturers such as CHARNOS and DAKS, also shops that no longer occupy the High Street including Burton, Woolworths and Adams. Context lies within the detail of the work. Not only in the design of superseded labels in which we can observe the passage of time, but also in the unexpected detail which tells a story.

The award winning ‘Dairy Cow’ made up of 5,000 used garment labels, was on display in the window at Sue Ryder to accompany the exhibition. At age eight Sue Ryder was given two Jersey cows and subsequently began her own dairy herd, which grew to twenty-four. Young entrepreneur Sue sold the milk and butter from the door and scrubbing her dairy was her favourite job.

What would Sue Ryder think of this Dairy Cow assembled from 5000 used garment labels, all generated through charity donation on the High Street? ‘Dairy Cow’ has been described as ‘an extravagant rescue of fashionable waste’ and in the current global milk crisis offers the viewer a strong sense of community.

Joy Pitts.

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EXHIBITION at EREWASH MUSEUM

The Exhibition of 20,000 Used Labels at Erewash Museum continues until Saturday 31st October, last entry is 3:30pm. The Lally Gallery, Erewash Museum, Ilkeston, DE7 5JA. Tel: 0115 9071141.

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20,000 Used Labels at The Lally Gallery, Erewash Museum

For 15 years Joy Pitts has gathered used labels from local charity shops, unpicking labels from the neck of rag garments. The 20,000 used labels in this exhibition have all been gathered from Ilkeston; therefore local residents were once walking around in these garments. It took five years to gather sufficient red labels to produce the smaller Ayrshire Cow. Joy’s award winning ‘Dairy Cow’ work, which is made up of 5,000 used garment labels, is on display in the window at Ilkeston’s Sue Ryder shop on Bath Street for two weeks to accompany the exhibition. A highlight of the exhibition is a 1.3 metre Homing Pigeon assembled from 466 World War One names taken for the Cenotaph in Ilkeston Market Place. The image is a tribute to the men and inspired by the thousands of homer pigeons that lost their lives during the First World War when they were used to transfer important and life-saving messages.

Recent work includes a Commission for fashion designer Paul Smith and selection for The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Joy’s latest project is a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate her 63-year reign.

The exhibition ‘20,000 Used Labels’ continues at The Lally Gallery, Erewash Museum, Ilkeston, DE7 5JA from 11th Sept – 30th Oct 2015. The Museum is FREE to enter and is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am until 4pm and is situated just off the Market Place.

BBC NEWS - READ IT HERE & ALSO HERE

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LATEST NEWS

Thank you to everyone who came to visit my Exhibition - 30,000 Used Labels at Lace Market Gallery, Nottingham. It was a huge success. This work is touring to Erewash Museum’s Lally Gallery from 11th September until 30th October 2015. I will also be in Residence during the Exhibition when the Museum is open, please see previous post for the full details. Many thanks also to the BBC GET CREATIVE participants in completing the 450 MERINO Sheep labels. Exciting news, the work is going to be exhibited at HUNTSMAN bespoke tailors on Savile Row, London during WOOL WEEK 2015.

I have also been invited to exhibit a new piece of work as part of the Wirksworth Festival, September 2015 in the Bookshop Window.

More details to come, or for up to date information please follow me on Twitter @JoyPitts11 or like my page on Facebook, Joy Pitts - Contemporary art from people and their garments.

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Supporting GetCreative Red

Artist in Residence Erewash Museum

Erewash Museum have invited me take up a residency from 11 Sept. until 30th Oct. 2015 to accompany an exhibition of my work. This opportunity will allow me to gain access to the Museums social history collection which will inspire the residency and allow time and space to explore new approaches in my socially engaged practice.

For 15 years I have gathered used labels from local charity shops on Ilkeston High Street, unpicking labels from the neck of rag garments. The 30,000 used labels in my exhibition at Erewash Museum have all been gathered from Ilkeston; therefore local residents were once walking around in these garments.

The Museum is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am until 4pm.                           High Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5JA. Tel: 0115 9071141.

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MILITARY BOOTS ARMED FORCES COMMISSION

MILITARY BOOTS will be exhibited at The Lally Gallery in Erewash Museum, High Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5JA. Exhibition runs from 11 September until 30 October 2015.

Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10am to 4pm.

LINK TO EREWASH MUSEUM & CENTRE FOR HIDDEN HISTORIES

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'30,000 Used Labels' is touring to Erewash Museum

I am delighted to announce that '30,000 Used Labels' is touring to the Lally Gallery, Erewash Museum, High Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5JA. Exhibition runs from 11 September until 30 October 2015.

Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10am to 4pm.

T: 0115 9071141 www.erewashmuseum.co.uk

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