I have recently discovered an artist with whom I have become utterly obsessed, and given my recent burst of being bothered about blogging (huzzah alliteration!), I thought it was only right to share this extraordinary man, and his extraordinary talent, with you. Srsly, ppl. Prepare yourselves.
Willard Wigan, born in 1957, is an English sculptor from Birmingham who has a very unique talent, specialising in the intricate art of microsculpture. Inspired by his early school years, suffering from undiagnosed dyslexia and the ridicule of his teachers, Wigan turned his attention to sculpting. From being told that he was nothing, he resolved to show that nothing did not exist; that though you may not be able to see something, it does not mean that it is not there.
‘It began when I was five years old. I started making houses for ants because I thought they needed somewhere to live. Then I made them shoes and hats. It was a fantasy world I escaped to. That’s how my career as a micro-sculptor began.’
Wigan’s pieces are often so tiny that a microscope is required to see them. The sculptures take about eight weeks to complete and are carved by a shard of diamond attached to a pin head, the remnants being brushed away with a human eyelash. The pieces are so small that they carry the very real risk of being inhaled whilst being worked upon, and the act of carving becomes so delicate that it is necessary for Wigan to enter a meditative state, to slow his pulse, to work between the beats of his heart.
‘When you’re working on such a molecular level, the movements of your hands have to be almost microns of movements. I have to kill my body, it’s almost like a dead man working. It takes so much out of you it almost sends you mad, I have passed out doing this work.’
A piece of work completed in 2010, of St Bartholomew’s Church near Gloucester, is carved from a single grain of sand. Other pieces are smaller than the eye of a needle, and the dwarves in the Snow White sculpture below are only three times bigger than a human blood cell. Wigan however does not feel that he has not yet reached the apex of his ability;
‘As small as what you’ve seen, it’s not the best of me yet, I’m taking it even smaller because I’m not satisfied with my work right now, it’s too big.’
Is your mind quite blown yet? His art defies the very limits of human ability, his dedication to his art is superhuman, poignant, simply breathtaking. I have never seen anything quite like it. So what do you think?
Go small, or go home, my friends, go small, or go home.
read more: http://www.willard-wigan.com/