8th Wonder of the World Found in Leeds

Bonhams are proud to announce it has teamed up with the David Lloyd Gallery and are exhibiting works by the Micro-Sculptured Artist, Willard Wigan MBE in their Leeds Offices from Thursday 6 – Friday 14 March 2008. Please call 0113 234 5755 for more information (opening times Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm). This follows the highly successful private showing at Lloyds of London and the sell-out extended dates in Nottingham, Sheffield, Grayshott, Dublin and Bath.

Former tennis pro and entrepreneur, David Lloyd purchased a 70 piece collection earlier this year, which was subsequently valued by Lloyds Insurers for £11.2 m.

The exhibition will feature pieces from the collection, which will be housed in easy to view cases including microscope lenses trained on the work. A full understanding of the intricacies of this work can only be achieved through a viewing ‘in the flesh’.

The exhibition will commence on Wednesday 5 March 2008, concluding on Friday 14 March 2008.

This will be Wigan’s first public exhibition for 5 years. Exhibited will be many previously unseen works from the collection. Many have described Wigan’s work as ‘the 8th wonder of the world’.

A spokesperson form the Gallery said that; ‘Attracting this exhibition to Leeds is a great coup for us. This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Leeds to view and perhaps purchase or commission the work of this formidable artist, who has been described by many as a genius’.

Willard Wigan MBE

Born in 1957 in Birmingham, Willard Wigan began his artistic life at a tender age. Suffering from dyslexia and learning difficulties, he struggled at school and found solace in creating art of such minute proportions it couldn’t be seen with the naked eye and therefore couldn’t be criticised.
“It really began when I was just five years old,” says Willard. “I started making houses for ants because I thought they needed somewhere to live. Then I made them shoes and hats. It was a fantasy world I escaped to where my dyslexia didn’t hold me back and my teachers couldn’t criticise me. And that’s how my career as a micro-sculptor began.”
From that day to this, Willard’s celebrated micro-sculptures have become more and more minute so that they are only visible through a microscope – some are only three times the size of a blood cell. Each piece commonly sits within the eye of a needle, or on a pin head.

Some of the most renowned pieces in the Willard Wigan collection, which was purchased by former Davis Cup captain turned entrepreneur, David Lloyd, in May 2007 for an undisclosed sum, are Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston, and Yellow Brick Road: The Wizard of Oz.

The personal sacrifice involved in creating such wondrous, yet scarcely believable, pieces is inconceivable to most. Willard enters a meditative state in which his heartbeat is slowed, allowing him to reduce hand tremors and sculpt between pulse beats. Even the reverberation caused by traffic outside can affect Willard’s work and he often retreats to the peace and quiet of Jersey or works through the night when there is minimal disruption. Discussing his latest and most challenging project – the iconic Lloyd’s of London building – Willard says it was yet another labour of love.
“The Lloyd’s building is so intricate architecturally that it was the biggest challenge I’ve faced to date. To make the cranes on the roof I caught dust particles in the air and sculpted them. It took me four months to complete and I was physically exhausted but hugely elated by the end.”
Willard Wigan’s work has been described as “the eighth wonder of the world” and he has just received his MBE for services to art. Unsurprisingly his life is also attracting significant attention from the literary and film industries alike, each eager to secure Willard’s life story.