Dr Willard Wigan MBE microscopic art now on permanent display at The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery

Dr Willard Wigan MBE born June 1957, is a world renowned British sculptor who makes microscopic art. His sculptures are typically placed in the eye of a needle or on the head of a pin.

A single sculpture can be as small as 0.005 mm (0.0002 in)

As a young boy, Willard found that both reading and writing did not come naturally to him. At that time autism and dyslexia were not diagnosed. Convinced by his school teachers that he would amount to nothing and achieve nothing, he was used by them to demonstrate what academic failure looked like.

Sometimes I felt so small, I wished I could disappear completely. Yet, it was the small things that fascinated me, and the microscopic world became my window into the world that others couldn’t see.

Growing up I wanted to show the world that nothing does exist and that just because you can’t see something, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

In 2004, Willard exhibited at The Art lounge Gallery in Birmingham. The BBC’s Inside Out – South West noted that the works displayed included “scenes of Jesus Christ and The Last Supper, with each individual figure no bigger than an eyelash or a human hair. At less than a hundredth of an inch tall, it’s painstakingly precise work”.

Willard explained that, while working on a grain of sand, he would sometimes use the tremor caused by his own heartbeat as a jack hammer to chisel the tiny particle.

After a series of exhibitions in the UK, during 2009 and 2010 Wigan toured the United States.

Wigan marked the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II by sculpting the Queen’s crown. In July 2007 he was made an MBE. The Library of Birmingham exhibited his works in January 2015. Willard was also honoured by the City of Wolverhampton with the keys to the city in 2018. Today, Willard is an internationally renowned micro artist, who has been recognised by the Guinness Book of World records as the sculptor of the world’s smallest works of art.


If Legoland intrigues and fascinates children, then Willard’s World of Wonder is set to give both children and adults an unbelievable experience. Dr Willard Wigan MBE’s micro sculptures are placed in the eye of needles and inside the follicles of human hair. This sounds unbelievable but the saying ‘seeing is believing’ really is true in this case.

25 pieces of the world’s smallest micro sculptures created by the world-renowned artist and sculptor have taken centre stage at The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery at the Utilita Arena. Set in the backdrop of the National SEA LIFE Centre, Legoland and Brindley Place, the exhibition entitled, ‘Willard’s World of Wonder’, is set to offer the public a unique experience that brings together science and art.

Willard has spent the last few years creating some spectacular pieces of micro sculptures that will quite simply take one’s breath away.

In a recent conversation with Willard at a preview of his exhibition, he commented that his new pieces have confirmed to himself that he has now surpassed the precision and accuracy to which he has worked over the last 20 years.

Willard continues, “I feel like I’m just starting an unbelievable phase of my artistic journey and lockdown has provided an added moment of reflection that has given me a new meaning and perspectives on the fragility of life, the delicate eco system we live in and how everything we do can affects this balance.

I’m now in the process of developing a series of works that will tap into the current discussions around raising the awareness of our environment, our seas, our cities and our forests and how all of these work in harmony to keep humans alive and healthy. And if we destroy our environment then we will destroy mankind along with all the things we take for granted’’.

Today Willard is an internationally renowned micro artist, who has been recognised by the Guinness Book of World records as the sculptor of the world’s smallest works of art made by human hand.

Willard has seen himself rise to great heights in a career that has taken him around the world where he has met some of the world’s most influential personalities, which include prime ministers and Her Majesty The Queen, among others.

‘’I would like to inspire people with my story and art and allow them to experience my journey of how I was able to turn nothing into something so amazing and so powerful. I want to invite the public, both children and adults, to come and see my sculptures and just look a little closer’’.

Come and see for yourself…seeing is truly believing.