Lucy Sparrow stocks up LA supermarket with 31,000 felt groceries
Fuzzy sushi rolls and cuddly avocados feature in this supermarket installation by British artist Lucy Sparrow, which contains over 31,000 felt grocery staples.
Located in The Standard hotel, which occupies a mid-century building in Downtown Los Angeles, the Sparrow Mart supermarket is the artist's fifth large-scale installation. Previous projects including a sex-toy shop in London's Soho and an east London corner shop.
For her latest installation, Sparrow filled a 260 square-metre space with 31,000 plush renditions of supermarket items, including fruits and vegetables, cereal boxes and a felt ATM machine – all available to purchase.
Intended to replicate the bright-coloured style of a 1980s supermarket, the products in the store range in price from approximately £4 ($5) for a packet of chewing gum to £6 ($7.45) for a packet of pork chops.
"As a child, I was obsessed with the exotic, turbo-charged technicolour glow emanating from across the Atlantic," said Sparrow.
"The source of this neon rainbow was Los Angeles – a seemingly mythical place to a child growing up in grey, post-recession Britain – and one that has hugely influenced my artistic practice," she continued.
According to a video interview with the artist, Sparrow worked with five assistants over a period of a year to make all the items in the shop, which she sewed together using felt and stuffing.
Some of the products were filled with beans to better represent the weight of the actual food items – for example, the pork chops were weighted with beans to emulate the heft of a slab of meat.
Elsewhere, fruits and vegetables donned smiling faces, while packaged goods were hand-painted with labels by Sparrow herself.
To coincide with the installation, The Standard has also created a custom menu of edible items to accompany the felt offerings, including the hotel's signature moon pies.
"Thanks to the amazing team at The Standard, Downtown, the felt is finally coming home to the city of endless possibilities and colour," said Sparrow.
For her previous installation titled 8 'Till Late, which took place at The Standard's New York site last Summer, Sparrow made a convenience store with 9,000 handcrafted pieces, ranging from deli meats to cigarettes. The installation was so popular that it closed nine days early due to items selling out.
Lucy Sparrow: Sparrow Mart is on view at the Standard, Downtown LA, Paddle Room, 550 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, between 1 and 31 August.