8 December 2013 until 29 June 2014
Small Worlds
Microsculptures by Willard Wigan

They are so tiny that you could simply breathe them in – the sculptures of the English sculptor Willard Wigan. In fact, it has already happened to him. The skyscrapers, trees and fairy-tale scenes are less than 0.005 millimetres in size. Even as a child, Wigan was already fascinated by ants, he built houses for them with interior decoration – precisely to scale.  The idea for the sculptures he makes today came to him when he heard a passage from the Bible: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven”. That was a goad to Wigan’s ambition. With the help of a microscope he eventually achieved something which seems incredible: an entire caravan - nine camels made of carpet fibres – will pass through the eye of his needle. The greatest talent needed here is the ability to keep absolutely still– only achievable through long years of practice. In order to produce perfect microsculptures, Wigan learned to slow down his breathing and his heartbeat. He attends to the details of his work in the interval between two heartbeats. The Briton builds the tools he uses himself – from needles with tiny slivers of ruby and diamond. As a brush, he uses the lashes at the extreme end of his eyelid. The sculptures are created over a period of months using carpet fibres, gold, nylon and strands of wire cord. The sculptures, which are invisible to the naked eye, meanwhile sell for astronomical prices on the art market.

Fig.: Last Supper © Willard Wigan