Image made using photos by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash
Nina: Nana, have you heard of the sculptor who accidentally inhaled his work?
Nana: What?? Inhaled a statue?? That’s impossible. You must have read it wrong. The sculptor probably inhaled some marble dust.
Nina: Actually marble dust is quite awful for the health. I wonder if sculptors like Michelangelo suffered any ill effects. I mean David alone must have generated a ton of marble dust.
Nana: Haha. See what I mean. Can you imagine anyone inhaling a 17 feet tall David?
Nina: Of course not, Nana. David’s size is a metaphor for his gigantic courage in facing Goliath with equanimity and ingenuity. But the sculptor who inhaled his work is Willard Wigan, a micro-sculptor.
Nana: What on earth is a micro-sculptor? Does he make statues of microscopes? Or perhaps, microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. He must have done a lot of work with corona, then. Hyuk.
Nina: Oof Nana, and you say I let my imagination run away. Willard is the creator of the smallest handmade micro art in history. He said he wanted to show the world that the little things can be the biggest of things. Though it is true, he did some work on Corona. After all, such an unexpected and unprecedented situation inspired many artists.
Nana: Does he hold a world record, or something?
Nina: Yes, Nana. He holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s smallest handmade sculpture, which quite appropriately is an embryo.
Nana: And what does he use to make these sculptures?
Nina: He uses crushed glass, granules of sand or sugar, carpet fiber, spider webbing and many other innovative materials to create his art. He uses some of his own hair sometimes, to generate brush strokes. He places the art in the eye of a needle or on top of a pin head to exhibit it.
Nana: That small? How can anyone see any of it? Why does he even bother?
Nina: His art can be seen through a microscope, and it is fascinating. He was an autistic, bullied kid, so he liked to make art no one could see. That way, people could not make fun of him, and his message was, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I wonder if he was referring to his own talent, undetected by his teachers and friends.
Nana: So what did he inhale? The embryo? His sculpture of a corona virus? Did he test COVID positive? Haha.
Nina: So funny, Nana. Not! He was making the mad tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland and inhaled Alice.
Nana: Poor Alice seems to go down all kinds of freaky rabbit holes. Anyway, at least Willard had a breath of fresh art. Haha. I’m on a roll.
This post is a part of the #NinaAndNana series I co-host with Lavanya Srinivasan. Her posts can be found here.