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The Cornershop

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In a guest post by urban art blog inspiringcity.com we discover the East End’s most ambitious immersive art experience... The brainchild of Lucy Sparrow, an artist who specialises in making things out of felt and wool, the Cornershop has been eight months in the making. Successfully funded by Kickstarter, Lucy has re-created a traditional corner shop made out of nothing but felt and wool. It was an epic undertaking, by the end of the project Lucy will have sewn just short of 4000 items. Housed in a former launderette at number 19 Wellington Row close to Ravenscroft Street in Bethnal Green, the Cornershop has clearly been a labour of love for Lucy Sparrow. She took ownership just two weeks before the opening and it needed a complete overhall having lain derelict for years and having seen better days. A rapid sprucing followed as Lucy had, not only to fit out the shop, but to deep clean and furnish it too.  Now the shop needs to operate throughout the month of August and has already been attracting hundreds of visitors a day, peaking the Sunday after opening with over 700 visits.  By any standards it’s been a huge success with people able to buy anything inside just so long as they are prepared to wait until after the show to have the goods sent out. So what is it that seems to have caught the imagination with the Cornershop project? “I think that my art is very childlike, everything's cuddly and everything's brightly coloured. It’s really hard not to smile at the felt” she says. “I think it is so completely inoffensive it’s hard not to find it endearing and I think because of that you can approach subjects that some people might think, oh that’s so boring especially when you want to alert them to a particular subject like the decline of the British High Street. Whether that comes across in the way people think about the felt corner shop I don’t know but it has certainly captured people’s imagination.” The shop will be open everyday from 10am till 7pm until the end of August. For more information on the development of the Cornershop read these articles on the Kickstarter Campaign and an Interview with Lucy Sparrow. Words and images by inspiringcity.com corner6Corner8 corner4_edited-2corner9  


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