Queen of felt: Lucy Sparrow’s Crown Jewels to go on public display
SCOPE Basel | 16-19 June 2016
REVEALED on the BBC’s The One Show, British felt artist Lucy Sparrow’s Crown Jewels will go on public display for the first time this month at SCOPE Base.
In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, Sparrow was commissioned by the BBC to make an exact replica of the Crown Jewels. The artist painstakingly recreated by hand felt versions of the crown, orb and scepter. She said:
“Creating the Crown Jewels out of felt was the perfect challenge. It's probably the world's most expensive item and having that portrayed out of materials usually reserved for playgroup or crafting classes is something nicely poetic."
During the programme, which aired at 7pm on BBC ONE on Friday [10 June], Sparrow describes the process during which she researched the position, colour and size of each stone and setting on each piece of regalia.
She added: “With these pieces, making the basic structure was the most challenging part, because as you can imagine, each has to support a massive amount of jewels. The crown was trickiest and took the most time because it needed to be solid, but also elegant. In true Blue Peter style, I used the tin from leftover Christmas chocolates and built it up with chicken wire to hold everything in place. I then went to town on the embellishments – that was the fun part; the diamantes alone took about five days to complete."
Footage also showed Sparrow at work in her ‘felt cave’ in Essex, where she spends days on end sewing everything from soup cans to cassette tapes, strips of Viagra to goggle-eyed fruit.
On its way to SCOPE, in addition to the Crown Jewels, is a selection of Sparrow’s medically themed felt creations. It’s the first time her work will appear at what is the world’s most prestigious art week, taking place annually in Basel - the world’s pharmaceutical capital.
Sparrow’s gallery representative, Lawrence Alkin of London’s Lawrence Alkin Gallery, said:
“While we’ll be showing a felt version of what is a very key piece of British history and regalia, we’re also recognising what’s become a crucial bolster to the Swiss economy. With a healthy mix of potions, pills and paraphernalia, we’re looking forward to bringing Lucy Sparrow’s wonderful world of felt to the art world in Basel.”
Where others might see the harsh and ugly side of an object, Lucy will disarm its negative aspects with her mastery of felting technique and the juxtaposition of other quirky creations.
Highly sought after, art collectors from around the world have been quick to snap up Sparrow’s work. From tiny individual pieces to larger installations such as the His n Hers bathroom cabinets, the level of intricacy and attention to detail remains unwavering.
For more information visit Lawrence Alkin Gallery at SCOPE Basel on stand B11 in Booth Area 303sf or http://www.lawrencealkingallery.com/artists/lucy-sparrow/.