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.
Over the past fifteen years local artist Joy Pitts has gathered 30,000 labels from the neck of used and discarded clothing. The woven labels have been assembled in sculpture and on canvas in images such as a Dairy Cow and Mute Swan, subjects that have been selected because of their practical or aesthetic association with humans. Recently commissioned by Sir Paul Smith for his collection, a print of Red Rabbit and maquettes showing how the work developed will also be exhibited. More information...
This first solo exhibition will include work from the 2008 - 2013 collection. 20,000 used clothing labels have been gathered and assembled, with larger pieces taking two to three years to complete. 5000 labels are processed for each piece according to colour and brand and arranged on canvas using only dressmaking pins.
Exhibition at: The King George Gallery, Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy, King George Avenue, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5HS.
Exhibition runs from 8th September - 10th October 2014.
With special thanks to Save the Children, Ilkeston.