The Cornershop

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Normally a corner shop opening its doors in the East End of London is nothing to get too excited about; however, though the shop stocks the everyday essentials like Kitkats, tins of beer, newspapers and crisps, everything it sells is made entirely of felt…

The Cornershop is actually a wickedly inventive art installation created by large scale artist and sewer extraordinaire, Lucy Sparrow. After many painstaking hours of sticking and sewing, she managed to produce nearly 4,000 different items in around seven months.

The whole project went underway when Lucy posted her idea on Kick-starter, with the aim of raising £2,000 pounds to get her cuddly corner shop off the ground. What she didn’t expect was to generate over £10,500 from the site, as well as receive funding from the arts’ council and a sponsorship from confectionary giants, Swizzels.

Talking to the Daily Mail  about her endeavour Lucy said: “I’ve always made big things. I like coming up with huge projects where the result is bigger than me, and it takes over my life. I’m very obsessive, and I want that to come across in the work and get people thinking ‘Who would be crazy enough to do this?”

“I like getting up at the crack of dawn and beavering away at something, knowing that so many other people are still asleep. The felt shop was born out of a desire to make an exhibition that was so all-encompassing that when everyone came in they were just blown away by the extent of the work, the labour involved.”

After planning her project, Lucy had been sewing almost nonstop since January, and though the task was almost overwhelming at times, she soldiered on!

She commented: “There were so many nights where I would wake up in a cold sweat feeling guilty and panicked that I hadn’t made enough that day. I fell asleep with pieces of half-stitched felt food a lot of the time. But I never felt like giving up, amazingly. However, there were periods of extreme fatigue where I just felt like I could sleep for weeks. I think I have multivitamins and takeaways to thank for getting everything completed.”

If you want to see the shop for yourself, the installation is running until the end of August and can be found at 19 Wellington Row in Bethnal Green. In addition, everything inside the shop is for sale and can be bought on the day or reserved and mailed at a later date.

So, if this stitch up has got you intrigued about the weird and wonderful projects currently underway in the East End, then join us on one of our East End Walks or London Tours! Our enthusiastic guides will show you a side of London rarely seen and give you a real insight into one of the most characterful area of the capital.