Monday, May 17, 2010

Willard Wigan: Hold your breath for micro-sculpture

By Makayla L.

Hold your Breath for… Micro-Sculpture? Ever thought building a house smaller than an ant, or using a paint brush from a hair of your own face? Willard Wigan is a Micro-Sculpture Artist that creates artwork not visible to the naked human eye. His story begins when his mother told him when he was little, he should always respect the little things. William was inspired to do something different from others when he was academically challenged with school. Instead of going to school, Wigan would hide in his shed in his back garden while his mother thought he as at school. She eventually caught on. He told his mom that the teacher was using him as an example as “failure” and he could not face it anymore, he couldn’t go. Sure enough like any mom would, she was sending him to school the next day. Sitting there thinking like he normally did while he was hiding he saw ants on the ground. He began to wonder what they were actually doing. Were they returning back to the queen? Were they searching about, looking for food? He wondered if those ants needed a place to live and came up with the idea to build them tiny apartments. He sliced little splinters of wood that turned into these mini homes for the ants, complete with a source of food (sugar) and entertainment (merry-go-round). Like any 5 year old would, he talked to the ants like friends. He would spend a lot of time with this little world and soon, it became a part of him. He went on to experiment with this world at a microscopic degree. A world that could only be seen to the human eye by microscope. He loved the challenge of something new. He was challenged by a certain fellow to build a house on the top of a pin head. Wigan used shattered pieces of glass and a fibre from one of his sister’s old teddy bears and volia! A masterpiece that is simply astounding to look at, although it wasn‘t that simple. Willard had to experiment with this new concept for weeks before he could finally get it right and yes, he did have to hold his breath while working, in fear that he may blow his work somewhere into the atmosphere. It’s one thing to make a house under a microscope, but it is another thing to make one with such fine details. This house was fantastic! Wigan joked, “while concentrating so hard on my work, at the same time I have to make sure I don’t inhale it either.” It is such a small sculpture, that nothing can go wrong in the building process. It’s long and tedious work, but its all worth it in the end. His sculptures range from anything and everything. Ranging from Bart Simpson to the Statue of Liberty, and made from anything from a nylon clothing tag to a flake of gold off an old ring. Each little sculpture Wigan creates can be finished within a 6-8 week period or longer depending on the project. That’s a long time with a lot of concentration. Wigan ends his presentation by telling his audience, “It’s very painstaking work, but the best things come in small packages,” which is so true in this case, it takes a lot of patience and hard work to do something so incredible like this everyday.

Willard Wigan had an interesting way of delivering his presentation. I felt his voice was very monotone through the whole presentation and that there was no dynamics throughout it entirely. He spoke in a softer voice for a male and his words tended to be very slow coming to his head, especially at the beginning of the presentation. He also used; or attempted to use humour which was sometimes effective on the audience. He used a good variety of pictures to really educate the audience of how tiny his work actually was, and that I think is what made his presentation so effective because the pictures really sold the story he was telling. Wigan expresses, “not everything in life has to be big, the best things come in small packages,” and I think that Wigan is absolutely right. No artist that makes a normal size statue of Bart Simpson would get the credit or money that Wigan does with his work. So with that being said I think that it is fair for me to say that Wigan is very original and adventurous in his work. I, or the rest of the world have never encountered something so mind-boggling. Something you need to have 100 times the patience and talent from the average person to pursue. The subject and graphics of this speech is what gave the message that a person doesn’t need all the brains in the world to pursue something amazing, there are opportunities for everyone’s needs. Willard Wigan is more then just an artist who didn’t like school, he is someone that gives us reason to believe that anything is possible if we just give it a try.

No comments:

Post a Comment