Willard Wigan: Through the Eye of a Needle

think small to think big

 think small to think big

 think small to think big

think small to think big

think small to think big

As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, Joseph Zobel was a keen artist and sculptor who was inspired by global culture from the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and even Asia – he was trained in the Japanese art of Ikebana flower arrangement.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a fantastic exhibition by Willard Wigan at the Library of Birmingham. Like Zobel, Willard considers his art international and hopes that it will be accessible to everyone. He makes the most amazing microscopic art – so small that it fits in the eye of a needle! To do this, he has found a way to slow his body down so he can work to the rhythm of his body’s heartbeat to make his microscopic incisions.

Willard was there on the day, and kept us amused with stories of his childhood in Wolverhampton and the development of his career. Several of his pieces are nods to his Caribbean roots, including Usain Bolt in his traditional ‘thunderbolt’ pose, and an absolutely beautiful hummingbird feeding on flower nectar.

Willard reminded us that nothing in our world is too small to matter.

This made me think of how many references there are to ‘petit pays’ (literally meaning ‘small country’) in Francophone music – and not just from the Caribbean. A beautiful song by Cap Verdean singer Cesária Evora, called Petit Pays, which has a French chorus, is now my earworm.

Inspirational stuff!

 

In January, I blogged about TED talks – you can see Willard’s TED talk, including images of his art, here:

http://www.ted.com/talks/willard_wigan_hold_your_breath_for_micro_sculpture?language=en

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