Shoplifting : A Solo Show by Lucy Sparrow

Take a trip away from the banality of every day life and treat yourself to the ultimate adrenaline rush, as felt sculpture artist Lucy Sparrow unveils a criminally good exhibition at London’s Lawrence Alkin Gallery.

Shoplifting is a collection of works that focus the spotlight on one of the most common everyday criminal acts. Inspired by the artist’s time spent working in a supermarket, this show takes a humorous look at themes of larceny including the most frequently robbed items in the UK and the types of people who lift them.

Punters (honest and otherwise) can expect to see rooms overflowing with temptation – with new pieces in perspex frames and cabinets stuffed with hand-crafted felt items to tempt all types of people looking for a five finger discount, i.e everyone.

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With 97% of petty theft in the UK committed by non professional thieves, chances are that someone in your close friendship circle has swiped something from the shelves. Often an early act of rebellion among teenagers striving to escape from their everyday lives with a sneaky six pack, shoplifters have  no typical profile, making everyone a suspect. But this is a crime that doesn’t only tempt the cash-strapped; being seemingly irresistible even to celebrities who can easily afford to splash the cash.

Whether it’s designer goods like Winona, booze like Richard Madeley or packets of cheese like Antony Worrall Thompson, it seems the lure to stuff something in your pockets is too good to pass up even if getting caught may jeopardises a lucrative career.  Statistics show that retail crime is on the increase, with the annual cost soaring to £613m in the UK last year – the biggest  since records began – driven by criminal gangs stealing luxury goods to order.

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So to those of you who have stuffed packets of ham or even an iPhone 7 down your trousers – or even just thought about doing it – you’re not alone. Shoplifting exists to prove that this is even more common than most people imagine. So put on a massive coat and make sure you’ve got some strong thighs, shoplifting has never been as bright, colourful and enticing as this. Remember thieves will not be prosecuted.

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