A huge thankyou to everyone who has pledged so far, I’m totally overwhelmed by the support and filled with excitement at being able to start the planning of the project now that I know we’re 81% there. The goal seems realistic and that the target might be achieved now so I’m filled with positivity. We do still have a little way to go so please keep pledging and sharing the campaign as every little helps in reaching the goal.
The convenience store, the cornerstone of every neighborhood block. Where would you be without somewhere to grab a spontaneous slurpee?
In 2014 Lucy Sparrow’s famous month long installation The Cornershop brought the plight of the demise of the local cornershop to London. Restocking an abandoned cornershop with felt bean cans, ciggys, marmite and porn mags, each item meticulously hand sewn by the artist herself. It was an unprecedented success delighting the thousands of visitors and press alike.
Two more shows followed covering more challenging subjects such as sex with her most recent show Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium where she challenged the UK sex laws which greatly affect women’s representation in the sex industry.
In Summer 2017 Sparrow embraces her biggest project to date The Convenience Store, opening in New York, a city where at the heart of every block the neon signs of the local convenience store are a beacon of hope to hungover everywhere. Where cures come in the form of a dubious pizza slice from the hot food counter or a New York icon, the hot dog from a hot dog stand, quick and cheap.
Fond memories of trying to buy your first six pack of beer and getting carded at the counter by the skeptical clerk, your fake ID just didn’t cut it. On the way out passing the moody teen settling for a Big Gulp and a hot preztel. Or popping in for a black coffee in a Yankees themed cup whilst drifting past the 99 cents bargain bin to pick up a ‘best’ of Kenny Rogers cd with some of the key hits missing.
The local convenience store is not just there for Twinkies and where would Chunk have bought his Baby Ruth bars? It is often the first taste of freedom teenagers get, being sent to fetch missing store cupboard items, and bumping into your friends staying out just a little longer than you’re meant to.
It’s hanging out with the alluring leather jacketed bad boy and when he mock proposes with a sugar ring donut whilst he punches the air as Don’t You Forget About Me plays over the tinny shop speakers in the background.
Forget I’m not even ‘sposed to be here, if you plan to shop lift, let us know.
What can people expect to see in the felt convenience store?
Come on down we got what you need. We’ve got felt fittings, freezers and fixtures. Take a felt basket, browse the aisles and select the fluffy goods to fill your cupboards with all the home comforts. Bring them to the counter for them to be gift wrapped and we’ll pack it in our very own branded brown paper bag.
How about a felt hot dog and help yourself to a squeeze of complimentary glitter glue mustard and ketchup from the dispensers?
The gritty kitsch of 70s New York, bright signs, the hanging meats of the deli counters which now looks a little tired but feels gloriously nostalgic. We will use one of these such shop fronts and fill it full of our colourful dungaree-clad employees who will constantly be buzzing around the store up and down step ladders to make sure that the shelves are well stocked. Our staff will bend over backwards to make sure you find everything you were looking for.
You’ll be able to take a gamble playing our felt lottery, maybe you will strike it lucky. Or fancy a quick bite to eat? At our deli counter you can create your own bespoke fabric sandwiches from pastrami or salt beef with pickles to good old PB & J to take home wrapped in brown paper bags.
All of the art will be instantly accessible, you can pop in for a few groceries pick them up off the shelves and take them home there and then. Original pieces of art at your local convenience store. For the serious art collector you can talk to our staff about purchasing curated cabinets full of your favourite convenience foods to hang in your home.
I cordially invite you to the Lawrence Alkin Gallery annual MIX Summer Show 2016, featuring an array of national and international artists, both emerging and represented by the Gallery. I have some new work in the show so come on down and join in the fun.
Queen of felt: Lucy Sparrow’s Crown Jewels on The One Show tonight at 7pm on BBC1
In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, Sparrow was commissioned by the BBC to make an exact replica of the Crown Jewels. The artist painstakingly recreated by hand felt versions of the crown, orb and scepter. She said:
“Creating the Crown Jewels out of felt was the perfect challenge. It’s probably the world’s most expensive item and having that portrayed out of materials usually reserved for playgroup or crafting classes is something nicely poetic.”
During the programme, which airs tonight at 7pm on BBC ONE (Friday 10th June),Sparrow describes the process during which she researched the position, colour and size of each stone and setting on each piece of regalia.
She added: “With these pieces, making the basic structure was the most challenging part, because as you can imagine, each has to support a massive amount of jewels. The crown was trickiest and took the most time because it needed to be solid, but also elegant. In true Blue Peter style, I used the tin from leftover Christmas chocolates and built it up with chicken wire to hold everything in place. I then went to town on the embellishments – that was the fun part; the diamantes alone took about five days to complete.”
Footage also shows Sparrow at work in her ‘felt cave’ in Essex, where she spends days on end sewing everything from soup cans to cassette tapes, strips of Viagra to goggle-eyed fruit.
After the broadcast, the Felt Crown Jewels will travel to SCOPE art show in Basel, Switzerland to be on show to the public for the first time. In addition to the Crown Jewels, is a selection of Sparrow’s medically themed felt creations. It’s the first time her work will appear at what is the world’s most prestigious art week, taking place annually in Basel – the world’s pharmaceutical capital.
Sparrow’s gallery representative, Lawrence Alkin of London’s Lawrence Alkin Gallery, says:
“While we’ll be showing a felt version of what is a very key piece of British history and regalia, we’re also recognising what’s become a crucial bolster to the Swiss economy. With a healthy mix of potions, pills and paraphernalia, we’re looking forward to bringing Lucy Sparrow’s wonderful world of felt to the art world in Basel.”
Where others might see the harsh and ugly side of an object, Lucy will disarm its negative aspects with her mastery of felting technique and the juxtaposition of other quirky creations.
Highly sought after, art collectors from around the world have been quick to snap up Sparrow’s work. From tiny individual pieces to larger installations such as the His n Hers bathroom cabinets, the level of intricacy and attention to detail remains unwavering.
Lucy Sparrow’s Erotic Emporium: Le Sex Shop Feutré
June 10 – July 1, 2016
Vernissage: June 10, 2016 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Station 16 Gallery: 3523 Boul. St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, H2X 2T6
Metro St-Laurent or Sherbrooke
Lucy Sparrow’s Erotic Emporium: Le Sex Shop Feutré will take the shape of a pop-up sex shop made entirely out of felt objects created by contemporary artist Lucy Sparrow. Sparrow’s installation will be on display at Station 16 Gallery in Montreal, Canada from June 10th to July 1st in conjunction with Montreal’s Mural Festival.
Lucy Sparrow is a contemporary artist from Bath, England working primarily with felt. She creates intricate objects by sewing together brightly coloured pieces of felt, stuffing them like miniature pillows, and hand painting them with tiny details. Sparrow’s oeuvre is playful, her objects are relatable, and their felt composition challenge the ever-expanding boundaries between fine art and craft. Her pieces evoke a surreal sense of nostalgia and curiosity.
Sparrow cites a fascination with “things made out of materials they weren’t supposed to be made from” as inspiration for her work, which takes many forms: from bubblegum to prescription drugs, and now sex objects such as butt plugs and vibrators. As such, Lucy Sparrow’s Erotic Emporium: Le Sex Shop Feutré will include all manners of sex-related paraphernalia. In Britain, laws on pornography are becoming increasingly severe, with the prohibition of depictions of various sex acts. Lucy Sparrow seeks to challenge the rights of sex workers, fetishists and consumers of porn with the creation of a sex shop made from felt, testing the boundaries of legality in the representation of pornographic material.
Station 16 Gallery is a contemporary urban art gallery highlighting the work of local and international artists influenced primarily by street art and graffiti.
For additional information, please contact Amanda Brownridge.
Facebook: Station 16 | Instagram: @station16gallery @sewoursoul| Twitter: @station16mtl @sewyoursoul
I’m delighted to announce I’ll be taking part in this year’s Art Republic Art Yard Sale. Come by and pick up some bespoke soup cans, tins of Spam and an assortment of felt creations all available to buy.
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be exhibiting at this year’s New York Affordable Art Fair with Mika Gallery. Come and see new work and an installation of felt supermarket shelves which are all available to buy.
30th April (private view)-3rd April 2016
The Metropolitan Pavilion 125 West 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues), Manhattan, NY
For sales and enquiries, contact Shlomi@mikagallery.co.il