A visit to The Cornershop, Bethnall Green

Do you remember the days when there was a small corner shop on the corner of every street?  Last week we at Your Vintage Life took a trip to Bethnal Green to visit The Cornershop – the fantastic art project by Sew Your Soul, the brainchild of artist Lucy Sparrow which celebrates these Aladdin’s caves of times gone by.  The Cornershop has been eight months in the making and is a wonderful immersive art project pop up shop where every item inside has been made from felt! Your Vintage Life visits the Cornershop art pop up 10 Lucy and her assistant Rachel hand sewed all 4,000 items, which will be on display and able to purchase in the shop until the end of the month.  “Felt is a fabric that is synonymous with primary school,” says Sparrow, who has made the fabric her trade mark. “It often comes in very basic, bright colours and with a material like that you can approach subjects that might be more taboo and make them palatable and funny.” Your Vintage Life visits the Cornershop art pop up 2

Your Vintage Life visits the Cornershop art pop up fruit stand

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Even the old fashioned till is felt!

Your Vintage Life visits the Cornershop art pop up cash register

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We did love the ice cream freezer filled with retro ice poles and all the ice creams we remembered from our youth…

Your Vintage Life visits pop up art project The Cornershop

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Every single thing inside the Cornershop – the till, the functioning pricing gun, the contents of freezers, the pick ‘n’ mix stand, the newspapers, even cheekier items such packets of Condoms, KY jelly and Tampons – are fashioned from fabric and hand finished.  All of goods are for sale and can be ordered at the shop or on her website. We have fallen in love with the felt can of Heinz Baked Beans and the range of felt Cadbury chocolate bars.

Your Vintage Life visits the Cornershop art pop up 9 (2)

Its not all perfect, as a visual merchandiser I couldn’t help but think its a shame there is no window display and the price ticketing is horrible and distracting.  Plus with everything being so tactile is annoying there’s signs telling you to not touch anything, but I guess that’s to make sure the slightly delicate felt artwork stays looking lovely for whoever ends up taking it home after the projects ends.

Your Vintage Life visits the Cornershop art pop up 7 (2)

As well as £1,000 of sponsorship money from iconic retro sweet giant Swizzels, the project was funded by a Kickstarter campaign which raised £10,500, and £8,000 of Arts Council funding.  The shop is open everyday from 10am-7pm at 19 Wellington Row, Bethnal Green, London, E2 7BB until 31st August and is well worth a visit.  Find out more about Lucy and the art project here.

Written by Sarah Gorlov

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