Artist recreates New York deli with 30,000 items made of felt

By Claire Hayhurst, PA

A British artist is opening an upscale delicatessen with a twist – each of the 30,000 items for sale is made of felt.

Lucy Sparrow’s Delicatessen on 6th will be a fully-functioning retail experience when it opens in New York.

The food emporium will be stocked with products found at fine delis – from patisserie and confectionery to fresh meat and fish, fruit and vegetables and breads.

Each item is adorned with tiny eyes and a smile to encourage visitors to consider consumerism and their relationship with the food they buy.

There are life-size boxes of Reese’s Puffs cereal, Welch’s Concord Grape Jelly and Oscar Mayer salami, along with bottles of the Disaronno liqueur.

Sparrow, 33, has spent months crafting the pieces and is now taking them to America ahead of the deli opening at the Rockefeller Centre in October.

Some of the items heading to the deli (Joe Giddens/PA)

A spokeswoman said: “Felt artist Lucy Sparrow is regarded 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 that represent themes of consumerism and consumption.”

Sparrow, from Bath, Somerset, will also display works in public locations throughout the Rockefeller Centre, including vitrines resembling aquariums and terrariums made of felt, lycra, diamante, sequins and glass beads.

The installation is part of the Art in Focus public art programme at the Rockefeller presented in partnership with the Art Production Fund.

Lucy Sparrow in her workshop with some of her felt art pieces (Joe Giddens/PA)

In 2014, Sparrow opened a fully-stocked felt Cornershop in London’s east end, as well as a supermarket named Sparrow Mart in Los Angeles in 2018.

Earlier this year, she filled a gallery with 70 pieces recreating the world’s most recognisable artworks.

The exhibition, in Beijing, included her take on pieces by Botticelli, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet and Hopper.

Lucy Sparrow’s Delicatessen on 6th will open on the corner of 49th Street and 6th Avenue in New York on October 1.