Lucy Sparrow, a British artist, has turned the Lyndsey Ingram Gallery in Mayfair, London, into a chemist shop, stocking it up with nearly 15,000 items made entirely from felt, as seen on Friday.
Sparrow’s installation, which took about a year to prepare, recreates the atmosphere of a real pharmacy down to its tiniest details, with a twist.
“The idea of the felt chemist actually came to me about three years ago, and it has taken that long to find the right location, the right setting, and then, COVID hit,” said Lucy Sparrow, adding, “It really became more meaningful during this time than it was than it was three years ago.”
Sparrow has included various products on the shop’s shelves: medical products, including prescription medications and COVID-19 self-testing kits, a makeup counter, and other self-care items.
“Each piece of art starts off with a flat piece of fabric. So I cut out the shape, I design it, I make sure that it all works, that it looks like the real thing. Then, me and my assistants cut them out. We sew them. Then, I paint everything,” explained Sparrow, revealing that her favourite piece is a family pack of Colgate toothbrushes.
Several people lined up outside the ‘Bourden Street Chemist’ installation on Friday as shops have re-opened for business across England.
Sparrow has previously recreated a New York-style bodega, an East London corner shop, and a Soho sex shop with the same artistic technique.
The items inside the chemist shop are purchasable, and the artist dispenses National Felt Service (NFS) prescriptions as receipts.
Sparrow created the National Felt Service in 2017, after buying an old ambulance.