Lucy Sparrow on felt

8.12.21. Artist’s studio, Sudbury

Lucy Sparrow came to widespread attention in 2014 with an extraordinary installation held in a derelict site in London’s Eastend. At The Cornershop, she assiduously recreated everything you might find in a traditional newsagent – some 4000 items – in felt.

This was followed by The Warmongery, a gun shop in Bethnal Green and, in 2015, by Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium, a felt installation of a sex shop in London’s Soho. There have also been shows in the US and China, while, in 2021, she launched The Bourdon Street Chemist (detail pictured above) at the Lyndsey Ingram Gallery in Mayfair and The Billion Dollar Robbery at the Start Art Fair in the Saatchi Gallery.

Her pieces are warm, witty and genuinely joyful – containing references to the likes of Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. While the artist has described her work as being like ‘Blue Peter on acid’.

In this episode we talk about: her fascination with felt (obviously); turning an old ambulance station into her studio; her obsession with fluffy bananas; being ‘weird’ at school and dropping out of university; repairing her binmen’s trousers; owning an HGV licence; working as a lap dancer; the huge success of The Corner Shop; the importance of nostalgia in her work; why felt is so disarming; and her pieces as performance art.

Find out more about Lucy Sparrow

The artist captured in her studio’s Banana Room.

Sparrow’s career took off in 2014 with The Corner Shop in London’s Eastend. (Image courtesy of the artist)

The Billion Dollar Robbery was one of the highlights of 2021’s Start Art Fair in the Saatchi Gallery, London. 

A detail of Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium, a felt installation of a sex shop in London’s Soho. (Image courtesy of the artist)