There’s a new newsagents in London town, just around the corner from Etsy HQ. Nothing unusual about that, you might think, but this is no ordinary store. The Cornershop is actually an art installation, and every item inside is made from felt. From fish fingers and cans of SPAM to newspapers, ice lollies and oven chips through to ciggies, veggies, and what is most certainly the softest loo roll ever manufactured. And when you get to the till that’s made of felt too.
British artist Lucy Sparrow (pictured below) has converted an entire abandoned corner shop in Bethnal Green, east London, into a temporary art exhibition called The Corner Shop featuring 4,000 hand-sewn felt products, a process that took her about seven months to complete and began with a successful plea for help on kickstarter.com.
According to Lucy, one of the main goals of The Cornershop was to make art accessible to everyone:
“I want people to see art as accessible, fun and whole. I’d really like people to see art as something relevant to their everyday lives that they can enjoy, handle and even buy. All the items are for sale at affordable prices. It’s been a real community event and I think it’s connected a lot of people to art who don’t normally bother with galleries or museums. It’s turned the everyday into a real art installation that anyone regardless of class, gender or race can relate to.”
All of the products are available to buy in-store as well as online. And Lucy’s personal faves? The French fries:
“They are very realistic but also soft and squeezable. They fool some people. It’s an everyday object that thousands of people eat each day and yet when constructed from felt and placed in a freezer they take on a whole new identity as a piece of art.”
The store also hosts live sewing events and workshops, where you can learn how to make your own fuzzy groceries like cuddly soup cans or hand-stitched crisps.
The Cornershop is open daily, 10am-7pm, until Sunday 31st August 2014, 19 Wellington Row, London E2 7BB. It will then move to Brighton in October 2014.