To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, the world’s leading micro-sculptor Willard Wigan MBE has created what he describes as his “greatest portrait to date” of The Bard of Avon.
The microscopic sculpture, placed in the eye of a needle, is smaller than a full stop in a newspaper, and sees the Midlands’ greatest son, William Shakespeare, in a teal tunic and purple stockings presenting a celebratory pose and smile. Beneath him, in an Elizabethan style gold frame, are the words “To see or not to see”, in reference to the scale of the piece, which can only be seen through a microscope.
The piece, which took 4 weeks to complete; will join the exhibition Willard Wigan: Homecoming, which features 30 microscopic pieces including the popular ‘Noddy Holder in a Needle’.
‘To See or Not to See’ will be launched on Friday 8th April at Light House Media Centre in the artist’s birth city of Wolverhampton and will remain until the close of the exhibition on 2nd May.
“I had to control my heartbeat and the pulse movements in my fingers to create this piece; it took every ounce of my skill and took a lot out of me. Like me, Shakespeare was from the Heart of England, and his work made Britain lead the way, culturally, for the whole world. When we realised the exhibition would be taking place during the anniversary, the team at Light House asked me to create a special piece and I worked day and night to get it completed. Shakespeare is the greatest storyteller the world has ever known, and as I’m the world’s leading micro-sculptor, I wanted to honour him in the best way I can. The most difficult aspect was getting his proportions right, but I’m really pleased with the result.”
Willard Wigan creates the world's smallest pieces of art which are displayed and viewed through microscopes. Like the Shakespeare piece, they are mainly mounted in the eye of a needle, and his following is worldwide. He has created the world’s smallest sculpture – a motorbike the size of a blood cell, suspended within one of Wigan’s own chin hairs– which is in the Guinness Book of World Records and is is also on display. The venue also houses The Black Country’s only independent cinema and is a popular centre for ‘Thinema’ – theatre screened live to cinemas – with a loyal audience of Shakespeare fans. On Saturday 23rd April – Shakespeare’s birthday and 400th Anniversary of his death, the cinema will screen ‘Shakespeare Live! from the RSC’, hosted by David Tennant, with visitors also encouraged to book into the exhibition for the “Ultimate Shakespeare Experience.” Willard will be representing Birmingham City Council at The Chelsea Flower Show, where he will be exhibiting a few of his pieces from 24th May.
The full exhibition is currently taking place at Light House Media Centre - daily until Monday 2nd May. BOOK HERE.