Earlier this week I headed back to Old Street to see the launch of the marvellous Marvel UK The Antsibition or Willard Wigan's micro art Ant-Man Exhibition.
A little while back I received a little invitation to a pop up gallery in Old Street Tube Station, where to celebrate the release of Marvel’s Ant-Man into UK cinemas on the 17th July 2015 Marvel presents The Antsibition in partnership with IMAX 3D.
Marvel UK have teamed up with IMAX and renowned micro-artist Willard Wigan to host a small exhibition or Antsibition of Willard Wigan's micro-sculptures and unveil a specially made Ant-Man sculpture.
I had actually heard of Willard Wigan's sculptures but did not connect the dots till I was actually at the exhibition and realised Willard Wigan was the same micro-artist who has created a buzz with his tiny sculptures, is the same Willard Wigan of the nine camels through an eye of the needle fame and actually holds the Guinness Records title of the worlds smallest sculptures.
All photos from my visit can be viewed on our Flickr Channel.
|The Establishing Shot: MARVEL UK PRESENTS ‘THE ANTSIBITION’ WILLARD WIGAN MICRO ART ANT-MAN EXHIBITION - MAGNIFIED CLOSE UP VIEW OF MICRO ANT-MAN SCULPTURE IN THE EYE OF A NEEDLE @ OLD STREET TUBE STATION POP UP GALLERY, LONDON|
Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, Michael Peña, T.I., Hayley Atwell, John Slattery
Sadly (or happily) I missed my scheduled session but was luckily slotted into a later session - which gave me a chance to visit The Magic Roundabout pop up “food faire/disco” above the Old Street Tube station (hidden in the middle of Old Street roundabout) which houses both the legendary Burger Bear & Prawnography.
I was lucky enough to partake of two of Burger Bear's delicious sliders (as you ask a; Grizzly Bear Burger - a Cheeseburger topped with double oak smoked bacon & Burger Bear's Bacon Jam.
And an Angry Bear Burger - Cheeseburger topped with Helluvapino Relish & Ribman #Holy**** hot sauce, before heading down to the Antsibition.
From July 14th 2015 experience Marvel’s latest superhero, Ant-Man on a small scale at The Antsibition in partnership with IMAX 3D. The Antsibition will give fans a glimpse of the amazing scale of Ant-Man with a remarkable gallery of tiny proportions ahead of the film’s release on the biggest format possible, IMAX 3D.
The “Ant” sized gallery will be open to the public from 14th to
Artwork on display will include minute Ant-Man film art and micro-sculptures by renowned British micro-artist Willard Wigan MBE, who will also reveal a new, bespoke piece inspired by Ant-Man.
Wigan’s work is commonly placed in the eye of a needle, or on the head of a pin. Once completed, his work measures only a few micromillimetres (less than 1/13th of the size of a grain of rice).
The images depict an incredibly detailed Ant-Man amazingly created within the eye of a needle
Further original works by Willard will also be available to view, as well as minute Marvel art
The Antsibition is being held in the suitably tiny Unit 2a, in Old Street Tube Station Exit 1 and a media scrum had gathered outside the pop up gallery along with rubberneck commuters trying to catch a small glimpse of the exhibition. The exterior of the gallery was decorated with ants and the tiny interior was furnished with a red carpet with ants all over it and a huge Ant-Man mural on the wall.
In the centre of the room and the left side, about a dozen specially made microscopes which are needed to view Willard Wigan's sculptures had been set up. Excuse the lack of photography but trying to take macro pictures through a microscope leaves a lot of room for error and rather no photos than low quality photos.
Along with other pieces of Wigan's art was the centrepiece of the exhibit - a minute Ant-Man sculpture.
Wigan's micro-sculptures are typically so small they were fit into the head of a needle. I'm not kidding you these works of art are ridiculously small and it only became apparent how small once I peered into the microscope and was able to compare with the real size sculpture which you could barely see with the naked eye.
But this really hit home when I started noticing the flaws and indentations in the needles housing the sculptures. I have seen pictures of this sort of detail but seeing it with my own eyes was quite something.
Click the image below to see a magnified close up of what Willard Wigan's micro Ant-Man sculpture in the eye of a needle actually looks like.
|Willard Wigan's micro Ant-Man Sculpture in the eye of a needle (Click to enlarge to actual size)|
Along with Willard Wigan's sculptures there is a tiny collection of mini covers from Marvel's Ant-Man comics and when I say tiny collection, think literally, as well as a tiny sets of concept, unused art and stills from Marvel's Ant-Man film.
I managed to have a small chat with artist, Guinness record holder and Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) Willard Wigan, who in his own right is remarkable as well as quite a striking character in the flesh - some six foot plus, shaved head, open shirt (it was hot under the spotlights in the small room) and bedecked with a gold chain he could have stepped out of a Luke Cage film. But rather than super strength and near invulnerability Wigan's super powers allows him to control his nervous system and bring life to the tiniest of objects. In our chat I found out a little more about his ability to create these micro-sculptures and the dedication that goes into his discipline.
A small chat with Willard Wigan MBE
Mr. Wigan, do you have a favourite sculpture?
Willard Wigan: Besides Ant-Man, The Last Supper.
How long does it take you to create a piece?
The Last Supper took me three months, some of them take two months, some 4 months, some 6 weeks it really depends they vary.
How long did it take to make the Ant-Man sculpture?
Three and a half weeks, three weeks solid.
How do you go about working on a piece for months like that?
Some of them can be complicated and you have to be like a dead man working. I mean you have to slow down your whole nervous system to do it. It's almost like trying to put a pin through a bubble and not bursting the bubble.
There is a whole process of having to slow your heart rate, work between your heart beats. Work at night avoid vibrations like traffic. It takes a lot of hard dedication to make the smallest sculptures,
Is that official?
Oh yes I'm in the Guinness records for the smallest hand-made sculpture in history.
Can you tell us a little bit about the kind of tools do you use?
I make my own tools from things like shards of broken diamond, little chisels, hooks and manipulating tools from acupuncture needles. A fly hair becomes a paintbrush. I find a way of making tools that cant be seen to make the pieces. And a microscope to see.
and what kind of materials do you use for the pieces?
Gold, nylon, a grain of sand, a human hair, dust, almost anything I can take a floating fibre out of the air and carve that.
Did you read comics as a kid? Do you have a favourite comic character?
Well at the moment Ant-Man. But I do like Spider-Man. I didn't read comics when I was younger but I would look at the pictures as I have a learning difficulty. At school I was diagnosed with mild autism. It's not detrimental and how I started doing this.
How long have you been sculpting?
53 years, actually my first sculpture was a house for ants. What happened was a dog ruined an ant hill and I built a house for them. My mother said if you build them smaller your name would get bigger.
What a great concept, an art exhibition of miniature sculptures that fits right into the Ant-Man world. Seeing these micro sculptures first hand was mind boggling but I would have like to have seen more Marvel related sculptures on display.
For more information on Willard Wigan and his art, motivational speaking engagements and charity work head over to: http://www.willard-wigan.com/
MARVEL'S ANT-MAN IS RELEASED IN UK CINEMAS FROM JULY 17TH
EXPERIENCE IT IN IMAX 3D
The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
The Establishing Shot: MARVEL'S ANT-MAN UK TRAILER - 17 JULY 15
Marvel’s “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis, Judy Greer as Maggie, Tip “Ti” Harris as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Wood Harris as Gale, Jordi Mollà as Castillo and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.
Directed by Peyton Reed and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” delivers a high-stakes, tension-filled adventure on July 17, 2015.
The IMAX release of Ant-Man will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of An IMAX 3D Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.
For more information on Marvel's Ant-Man head over to:
The official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/marveluk
YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/MarvelUK
Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/MarvelUK #AntMan
Marvel UK Presents ‘The Antsibition’
14th to 20th July 2015
Old Street Tube Station, London, EC1Y 1BE, Unit 2a, (next Exit 1)
The Establishing Shot: I PAY A SHORT VISIT TO MARVEL UK'S TINY ANT-MAN MICRO ART EXHIBITION & HAVE A SMALL CHAT WITH ARTIST WILLARD WIGAN AKA WHAT IS THIS? AN EXHIBITION FOR ANTS? OH! - EXHIBITION VISIT
|Craig is a retired superhero, an obsessive hobbyist, comics fan, gadget lover & flâneur who knows an unhealthy amount about Ian Fleming's James Bond.|
When not watching or making films he takes pictures, eats, drinks, dives, tries to connect to nature whilst mentally storyboarding the greatest film ever made. He also & sometimes utilises owl-themed gadgets to fight crime.
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