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

Red Cow - now sold to collector

Red garment labels are scarce in second hand circles and it took five years to gather sufficient used labels to produce Red Cow. The work evolved following my visit to a farm to study pedigree Ayrshire cattle, dairy farming and new milking technologies. The farm in Somerby, Leicestershire, has 120 Ayrshire cows; their milk is used to produce (the world-famous) Stilton cheese. The Ayrshire is both practical and pretty, with her smart red-and-white coat and is often described as being any shade of red and white with brown. The used labels in this collection reflect these colour ways and were gathered between 2003-2013, the labels are assembled on canvas using only dressmaker pins. 

2016 Highlights

What a fantastic year! 

It began on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II birthday with an invitation to exhibit the royal portrait in the window of bespoke tailors Meyer & Mortimer, Mayfair, London. The portrait then toured to Smalley's, a Gentleman's outfitters in Nottingham for the official celebrations in June, followed by an invitation to attend a street party at Bakewell Old House Museum, Derbyshire. The royal portrait made from names taken from a Derbyshire War Memorial then spent the summer at Derby Museum, where residents were thrilled to find WW1 family names in the artwork. Finally in 2016 the portrait was selected for exhibition at the prestigious Bishops Palace, Wells, Somerset. It was here that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall viewed my work hanging amongst the historic portraits in the Long Gallery. 

Also worth mentioning is my portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, a collaboration with three of Churchill's selected outfitters on Savile Row and St James, London. Known as Britain's 'Best-dressed PM' Churchill's portrait toured to the three windows in the Autumn of 2016. 

My work also appeared on BBC FOUR MAKE #craftbritain in June and in several newspapers and publications including Country Life Magazine and The Radio Times. 2016 concluded with a commission for Bromley House Library, an artwork to celebrate 200 years of this amazing library in Nottingham Market Square. Please feel free to visit the library to view the work in the new reading room. 

I am now looking forward to 2017, and to sharing my work as new projects and exciting collaborations evolve.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year. Joy Pitts. 

Red Cow selected for Old Station Gallery Open Derbyshire

Please join us for the Private View on Saturday 24th September 3-5pm.
The Old Station Gallery, Peak Shopping Village, Chatsworth Rd, Rowsley, Derbyshire, DE3 2JE.
Exhibition runs from 24th Sept - 26th Oct 2016 Open SAT/SUN/WEDS 11am-4pm

Red Cow with used clothing labels 60 x 60 cm.  (Forms part of the collection 20,000 used labels)  It took five years to gather sufficient red labels to produce this canvas.

Red Cow with used clothing labels 60 x 60 cm. (Forms part of the collection 20,000 used labels)
It took five years to gather sufficient red labels to produce this canvas.