A SOLO SHOW BY LUCY SPARROW
Lawrence Alkin Gallery, London 3 -29 November, 2016
Take a trip away from the banality of every day life and treat yourself to the ultimate adrenaline rush,
as felt sculpture artist Lucy Sparrow unveils a criminally good exhibition at London’s Lawrence Alkin
Shoplifting is a collection of works that focus the spotlight on one of the most common everyday criminal acts. Inspired by the artist’s time spent working in a supermarket, this show takes a humorous look at themes of larceny including the most frequently robbed items in the UK and the types of people who lift them.
Punters (honest and otherwise) can expect to see rooms overflowing with temptation - with new pieces in perspex frames and cabinets stuffed with hand-crafted felt items to tempt all types of people looking for a five finger discount, i.e. everyone.
With 97% of petty theft in the UK committed by non professional thieves, chances are that someone in your close friendship circle has swiped something from the shelves. Often an early act of rebellion among teenagers striving to escape from their everyday lives with a sneaky six pack, shoplifters have no typical profile, making everyone a suspect. But this is a crime that doesn't only tempt the cashstrapped; being seemingly irresistible even to celebrities who can easily afford to splash the cash.
Whether it’s designer goods like Winona, booze like Richard Madeley or packets of cheese like Antony Worrall Thompson, it seems the lure to stuff something in your pockets is too good to pass up even if getting caught may jeopardises a lucrative career. Statistics show that retail crime is on the increase, with the annual cost soaring to £613m in the UK last year – the biggest since records began – driven by criminal gangs stealing luxury goods to order.
So to those of you who have stuffed packets of ham or even an iPhone 7 down your trousers - or even just thought about doing it - you’re not alone. Shoplifting exists to prove that this is even more common than most people imagine. So put on a massive coat and make sure you’ve got some strong thighs, shoplifting has never been as bright, colourful and enticing as this. Remember thieves will not be prosecuted.
About the Artist
Felt artist Lucy Sparrow has quickly become recognised as one of the most exciting and original artists working in the UK today. Her practice is quirky yet subversive, luring the audience in with her soft, tactile, colourful felt creations before hitting them hard with her comment on subjects from the demise of the traditional high street to censorship in pornography.
Sparrow took the art world by storm in Summer 20014 with the opening of her fully stocked felt Cornershop installation in London’s East End. With queues around the block and wall to wall media coverage, the installation was both a commercial and critical success. Warmongery, a controversial sell-out installation exploring the issues around gun control and mental health followed in May 2015 and in October 2015, Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium opened it’s doors in the back streets of London’s Soho, showcasing the artist’s complete commitment to her artistic vision, recreating an entire sex shop in glorious technicolour felt, including a fully working, animated felt peep show.
The artist’s work has been shown in galleries from London to Los Angeles, and at international art fairs including Art Basel, Scope Miami and the New York Affordable Art Fair. Shoplifting is Sparrow’s last UK show before she exports her felt to New York for her amazingly, ambitious Kickstarter funded project Convenience Store, opening Summer 2017.
Lucy Sparrow lives in a felt cave in an undisclosed location, with her companion Basil.
Twitter / Instagram @sewyoursoul