In 2014 Lucy Sparrow’s famous-month long installation, The Cornershop, brought the plight of the demise of the local cornershop to London. Restocking an abandoned cornershop with felt bean cans, ciggys, marmite and porn mags, each item meticulously hand sewn by the artist herself. It was an unprecedented success delighting thousands of visitors and the press alike.
Two more shows followed covering more challenging subjects, like sex, with her most recent show Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium where she challenged the UK sex laws which greatly affect women’s representation in the sex industry.
Next in the summer of 2017, Sparrow, thanks to a successful crowd funding campaign, will embrace her biggest project to date, The Convenience Store in New York City, where at the heart of every block the neon signs of the local convenience stores are beacons of hope to the hungover of all walks of life. Where cures come in the form of a dubious pizza slice from the hot food counter or, a New York icon, a sweaty hot dog from a sweaty hot dog stand, quick and cheap.
Fond memories of trying to buy your first six pack of beer and getting carded at the counter by the skeptical clerk; your fake ID just didn’t cut it. On the way out, passing the moody teen settling for a Big Gulp and a hot preztel. Or popping in for a black coffee in a Yankees pinstriped cup whilst drifting past the 99 cents bargain bin to pick up a “best” of Kenny Rogers cd with some of the key hits missing.
The local convenience store is not just there for Twinkies. It’s a consumer culture rite of passage — where Chunk would have bought his Baby Ruth bars. It is often the first taste of freedom teenagers get, being sent to fetch missing store cupboard items, and bumping into your friends staying out just a little longer than you’re meant to.
It’s hanging out with the alluring leather jacketed bad boy, when he mock proposes with a sugar ring donut and punches the air as Don’t You Forget About Me plays over the tinny shop speakers in the background.
What will there be to see at The Convenience Store?
Come on down we got what you need. We’ve got felt fittings, freezers and fixtures. Take a felt basket, browse the aisles and select the fluffy goods to fill your cupboards with all the home comforts. Bring them to the counter for them to be gift wrapped and we’ll pack it in our very own branded brown paper bag.
How about a felt hot dog? Don’t forget to help yourself to a squeeze of complimentary glitter glue mustard and ketchup from the dispensers!
The gritty kitsch of 70’s New York, bright signs, the hanging meats of the deli counters which now looks a little tired but feels gloriously nostalgic. We will use one of these such shop fronts and fill it full of our colourful dungaree-clad employees who will constantly be buzzing around the store up and down step ladders to make sure that the shelves are well stocked. Our staff will bend over backwards to make sure you find everything you are looking for.
You’ll be able to take a gamble playing our felt lottery, maybe you will strike it lucky. Or fancy a quick bite to eat? At our deli counter you can create your own bespoke fabric sandwiches, from pastrami or salt beef with pickles to good old PB & J, to take home wrapped in wax paper.
All of the art will be instantly accessible, you can pop in for a few groceries, pick them up off the shelves and take them home there and then. Original pieces of art at your local convenience store. For the serious art collector, you can talk to our staff about purchasing curated cabinets full of your favourite convenience foods to hang in your home.