19 Wellington Row, London, E2 7BB
An art show truly worth making a fuzz about, Lucy Sparrow’s Cornershop is the fluffiest, furriest shopping experience imaginable. She’s filled a former derelict store in Bethnal Green with over 4,000 handmade felt versions of familiar grocery items – from fish fingers and cans of SPAM to sanitary towels and newspapers, rocket ice lollies and oven chips to ciggies, veggies, and what is most certainly the softest loo roll ever manufactured.
Every single thing inside the Cornershop – the till, the functioning pricing gun, the contents of freezers, the pick ‘n’ mix stand – is fashioned from fabric, and the whole lot took Lucy seven months to complete.
All her highly huggable versions of everyday essentials are for sale, but will stay in the store for a month, during which time a variety of sewing workshops will take place, designed to engage the local community (particularly individuals with autism and sectors often socially excluded) in relatable, accessible art that’s relevant to them and their neighbourhood and has been brought right to their doorstep. People can sign up to these workshops in the shop and group workshops for charities can be arranged through Lucy.
This exhibition has been supported by the Arts Council, Tower Hamlets Council and Kickstarter. The event is sponsored by Swizzel’s sweets.
Working at the intersection between contemporary craft, her previous works have included ‘Mini Structures’ – a series of supersoft London landmarks created for Time Out magazine – activist creations for Greenpeace, and exhibitions alongside notable street artists such as Banksy. Her creations often discuss issues spanning the politics of consumerism, sidelined social groups and mental wellbeing.
She’s a total softie.