London Life Exhibitions

The Cornershop

August 4, 2014

I love a good story. You’re in for a treat as this is a great story!

Artist Lucy Sparrow uses felt and wool to make art. But it’s not just some ‘lovely, gorgeous, fun and pretty’ sewing stuff, no it’s rather a clever and playful way to ‘tackle (often collaboratively) some of realities of contemporary living, dealing with issues concerning the politics of consumerism, social exclusion and mental wellbeing’.

After an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, Lucy has just unveiled a 7-months long project to create an entire cornershop out of felt for the whole of August. It will then move to Brighton in October 2014.

Lucy questions the British consumption landscape, and the demise of our cornershops as spaces not only for consumption but also for community building. The strategic use of this cornershop, in an area increasingly genrtrified, also aids to try and rebuild some of the community relations.

The cornershop officially opened on Friday 1st August at 6pm. I got there just after lunch on Friday and want to thank Lucy (charming, bubbly and very astute) and everyone helping out that day for allowing me to come in to take photographs, despite frantically putting finishing touches to everything before 500 guests descended on the shop that evening. EVERYTHING in the shop has been hand-stitched. All 4000+ products. WOW!

When you visit you can take a clip board with an order form and note down the items you would like to order. For those who can’t visit the shop, hop over to the online shop where you can buy most things. If you don’t see the item you want online, drop Lucy a line. From what I understand, Lucy has already been inundated with orders, so patience is in order! (note to myself)


Meet Lucy.

Lucy outside her cornershop. Everything is stitched, even the sign outside.

Look at the till, which looks even better from the front. And that charity collection tin.

I wanted to show you how much detail goes onto a piece.

There were too many people for me to take shots of the entire shop. Here’s some shelving.

Sweets anyone?

Kit Kat.



Digestive biscuits.

I endorse this sort of ‘save’ drinking!

Beck’s canned beer.

Teachers whisky | Gordon’s gin.

The mandatory Heinz condiments.

Heinz tomato ketchup.

Heinz salad cream.

Some soft drinks.

Diet coke.

And as expected, cigarettes and tobacco behind the till.

Cigarettes and Tobacco.

Now, you will agree that every respected household will need some K-Y Jelly and some Durex.

K-Y Jelly.

Durex flavoured condoms | Durex extra safe condoms

To fight any flu or cold.

Lemsip max.

The newspapers and magazines were one of my favourite products. Lucy does sell these, although they are currently not listed in the online shop. Please inquire for prices.





There was a chiller cabinet full of frozen foods, refrigerated foods and of course a chiller cabinet full of ice creams.

Mr. Freeze ice poles.

I just LOVED my visit to the cornershop. I hope the opening night was a blast. If you’re in London, try and pay a visit to the shop. For all others, do peruse the online shop.

I can’t wait to return, get involved in some community spirit and decide what product I want first. I might just have to order a special commission.

The Cornershop
1st – 31st August
19 Wellington Row, Bethnal Green
London, E2 7BB

Open everyday 10am – 7pm

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  • Reply ParisBreakfast August 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Her Kickstarter video is Brilliant!
    What a hoot. Such a fun idea!
    Love it all.

    • Reply tina August 8, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Isn’t it just?

      It’s totally amazing and you would love it!

  • Reply Alison sye August 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Love love love this an the ethos behind it. Total admiration to Lucy. Will be visiting, thanks xx

    • Reply tina August 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Knew this would be one for you:-)
      I also love the ethos behind it. Everything about this project is just exciting.

      Really hope you get to see it xx

  • Reply Mel August 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Tina this is amazing! Truly cool and I had either a grin on my face the entire time… What a talent and personality to pull that together. Just brilliant! Thanks for another great post. M xx

    • Reply tina August 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Just so inspirational on so many levels.
      Thanks Mel xx

  • Reply Achim August 8, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Superb!! — My serious proposal for this is: Lucy Sparrow must take an active part in the DOCUMENTA of Kassel, which is considered the world’s largest and most prestigious exhibition of contemporary art!

    The 14th edition will take place in 2017, so there would be enough time for an application! — Try it! I would like to meet you here in Kassel!

    Love & Peace

    PS: What a burst of laughter: the excellent newspaper headlines!!

    • Reply tina August 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Achim. I’ve sent Lucy this link so hopefully she will see you message.
      Thank you for stopping by.

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey August 9, 2014 at 11:58 am

    It’s been all over the web, but wonderful to see your up close & personal pics. I am in awe. Simply amazing. And I must confess I knew nothing about this project when it was in the making (and if you’ve mentioned it before, then I’ve forgotten). Lucy must be one dedicated lady – the detail is just “wow!”

    I also wholeheartedly commend her thinking behind the project.

    Thanks for sharing xx

    • Reply tina August 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Yes, it’s so well publicised (and deservedly so). I did get in there early tho:-))
      Thank you. I did want to show up and close pics as I knew everyone would take wide angle shots of the shop.
      I love all the details of the individual items and still can’t decide which one I want for myself.

      LOVE everything about this project and am really glad it’s travelling on to Brighton.
      Thanks G xx

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