textile art, lucy sparrow, felt, soft sculpture, tapestry, rose west, solo show, hoxton, london gallery
Heartfelt works put Lucy on artistic map - ArtLyst Article image

Heartfelt works put Lucy on artistic map

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Young Bath artist Lucy Sparrow is about to hit the big time with the launch of her first solo show in London.

Lucy (25), whose family lives at Weston, went to Kingswood School and City of Bath College.

She has already taken part in more than a dozen group shows where her works in felt have been shown alongside people like Banksy, Inkie, Zeus, Eine and Peter Blake who at one time also lived in Bath.

But next week Lucy has her very own exhibition at the Hoxton Gallery in North London.

Lucy turns felt and wool works into startling works of art. She made a full size telephone box out of felt which recently sold to a private collector and a giant map of the London underground called The Bakerloo Tapestry.

The new London show includes felt copies of well known modern works of art.

Imitation, as the exhibition is called, reveals the art-world turned soft and subverted into a comedic look at how craft meets conceptual, says Lucy.

Ranging from the works of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin to Mondrian and Grayson Perry, Lucy takes the already successful and makes it all her own – in felt. Lucy says: "Imitation is a homage in part to the original Sensation show which exploded on to the art scene in September 1997."

Lucy, who started working with felt when she was just nine years old, was both enthralled and inspired by Saatchi's Sensation as a young art student in Bath and since then has created a respected body of work in celebration to her childhood heroes – while adding a fine cynical twist of humour for which she has become known since first emerging onto the London art scene.

For London Lucy has created a full-size shark immortalised in felt and woollen fabrics and even a knitted Emin bed.

Lucy went to Kingswood School in Lansdown from 1997 to 2003 where she got an A* in GCSE art leaving to study at City of Bath College from 2003 to 2005 where she did the two year BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design there.

Says Lucy: "Hirst's Shark is one of the most recognisable pieces in the Sensation exhibition, and certainly from the YBAs, financed by Saatchi himself, it put Hirst on the map and made him the richest living artist. The shark is one of the planet's scariest living creatures and this felt replication pokes fun at Hirst's Shark because this one is infinitely cheaper, harmless and will last a life time.

"Damien Hirst famously stated that he rarely did any of his own spot paintings and in fact his favourite one was completed by one of his assistants.

"The uniform shape of the spots is one of the things that make his series so aesthetically pleasing.

" In my version, the spots are not only laboriously sewn on but also give the impression of dripping paint which highlights two of the things that are exactly what would have to be avoided when making the real version.

"Fast and uniform shapes versus slow and muddly outlines."

Roy Lichenstein's Whaam is one of the most famous examples of the American pop art movement which has provided an ideal subversion for Lucy to poke fun at the irony of this connection.

For further information about Lucy and her works visit www.sewyoursoul.co.uk.

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