His art fits on the head of the pin or even in the eye of a needle, and in a state like Texas where everything is big, that may seem like an odd thing to be amazed by, but folks, the Gallery Furniture team was more than impressed by the work of art he brought in to show us. We were all simply blown away with what we saw by a very quiet, nice man named Willard Wigan.
The funny thing was, the Gallery Furniture team needed a microscope to see it. You read that right, a microscope. The artwork of Britain's own Willard Wigan is so small, that all you really can see is the pin or the needle where his artwork resides.
So, yes, it was an odd thing indeed when Willard Wigan showed up at Gallery Furniture, none of us knowing who he was, him and a couple of his friends with a stand that was about four feet high, had a glass bulb with a standard industry/lab grade microscope sticking out of the top and inside the glass bulb were two LED lights shining on a head of a pin with a diamond. Looked like something right off a 50's sci-fi movie, not art.
Then Willard asked each of us to first look into the glass bulb at the pin that clearly had a diamond on it, after a second Willard then said: "Now, do take a look through the micrsoscope." His polite English accent delivered the command in that British way that made you feel as if you didn't do exactly that, then you were committing some sort of societal faux pas, but beyond that was the intrigue and curiosity - it's a pin, you see a diamond, what more? And when you peered down the industry grade microsope, there, standing on the top of the diamond, was a miniature sculpted University of Texas Longhorn - yup, you read that right, BEVO himself was sculpted, masterfully painted at the micro scale including muscle lines, horns, eyes, everything. On the top of the diamond, with room to spare no less. As if BEVO himself was roaming on a set of Texas plains made of nothing but diamond.
One of the Aggies on staff here at Gallery Furniture had this to say when he took a gander down the microscope: "As much as I am not a fan of anything Longhorn, that truly is a work of art and the most amazing thing I have ever seen" and he then quickly turned to Willard and said "I would love to see a collie chasing the longhorn." While the joke may have been lost on the British team that came with Willard Wigan, Gallery Furniture staffers got it and got a great chuckle out of it.
Unfiortunately, due to the fact that the staff did not have a microscope fitting camera attachment, Gallery Furniture was unable to catch the beauty of this fine work of art.
Staff and customers lined up to see just what all the ruckus was about, and while Willard Wigan ran through his explanation of how he started by designing furniture for ants as a child to help him personally deal with dyslexia and learning disabilities, and his micro art never stopped and got more intricate and beautiful as he went on.
He's been featured as a guest speaker for TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) and the video he made, explaining everything from how he has to hold his breath and slow his pulse down to properly make micro-sculpture (and Gallery Furniture staff and customers were amazed at how he even uses an eyelash to paint with, let alone the level detail he put into the microscopic BEVO piece), can be found by clicking HERE (note, this is a 20 minute video).
Mr. Willard Wigan is a testament to the human spirit and he definitely shows the Gallery Furniture quality of "If it is to be, it is up to me" as he overcame his difficulties and turned his hindrances into his strengths through time, learning, and perserverence. Way to go, Willard Wigan! And thank you for giving Gallery Furniture employees and customers a glimpse into your micro-world!