Place Hacking

A Muffler for a Freezing Angel

Lucy Sparrow, who is currently sewing up London‘s most iconic landmarks is also using her felt and wool art for political intervention to bring attention to certain occurrences.

Last winter, she spend ten weeks knitting a 50 foot-long wool scarf with the help of the Bath Spa University’s knitting club, which she carried around everywhere until its completion, making it even more special to finally be able to lift the heavy load of off her neck. The reason behind this crafty effort was an project that took Lucy Sparrow a year of planning and scheduling.


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There is an iconic Angel sculpture by Antony Gormley that has been build 14 years ago on the side of the roads into the area of Tyneside in North East England, and with winter weather rolling in, the Angel was bound to be getting cold. Lucy Sparrow decided this potential crisis should be addressed while also playfully probing the non-participatory nature of the sculpture. More specifically, she would create the huge scarf, climb the Angel, and tie the scarf in a knot around it’s neck to ward off the chill, hopefully staying up there for the whole season.

Pulling up to the statue, it was a particularly dark and rainy November night, which were not the best conditions for Lucy Sparrow and her confidantes, consisting of Bradley Garrett of placehacking fame, Witek the mystery man, and Helen Carlton from theeyeofsilence. One was in charge of filming what would go down, one was to take photos, one would climb to the top and lastly one would arrow-shoot the scarf. It was important to be unseen, as a passerby’s call to the local constabulary to report on their nightly activity would be fatal to the performance and involve a lot of unwanted explaining. So fighting those tough weather conditions and the creeping desire to go and camp out in the car, they managed to attach the ropes for Helen to climb the angel statue on, shot an arrow with the huge muffler up to her, and she was finally wrapping it around the statues neck. This angel was going to be shivering no more.


Video about Lucy Sparrow’s performance by Bradley Garrett

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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