BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

13 November 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Profiles

You are in: Nottingham > People > Profiles > World's smallest art to stay in Nottingham

Willard Wigan

Willard Wigan

World's smallest art to stay in Nottingham

An exhibition of former Nottingham teacher Willard Wigan's microscopic sculptures becomes a permanent fixture in the city centre.

Willard Wigan MBE makes the world's smallest sculptures, working between heartbeats to avoid hand tremors.

He taught at the Marcus Garvey Centre in 1985 and returned to the city to exhibit his incredible microscopic sculptures in December 2008.

It has been decided that the exhibition of 35 pieces by Willard at Friar Lane Gallery, including Betty Boop, a dinosaur and a fish carved from a grain of sand, is to become a permanent fixture.

Willard uses tiny blades to make sculptures out of rice, as well as grains of sugar and sand, and mounts them on pin-heads.

One of his other tools is a hair from the back of a dead fly, which he uses as a paintbrush. Willard explains the effort he puts into his incredible work:

"Some of the work I do is smaller than a small stop, smaller than a blood cell.

Willard Wigan's Betty Boop

"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 70 piece collection of Willard's has recently been insured by Lloyd's of London for £11.2 million.

last updated: 06/04/2009 at 14:17
created: 11/10/2007

You are in: Nottingham > People > Profiles > World's smallest art to stay in Nottingham



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy