My old neighbour spoke at TED

Speaking at TED is a big deal being, as it is, a conference that offers ‘knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers’.

Browsing the site just now, I was a hugely surprised to see my old neighbour, Willard Wigan, now numbers among TED’s speakers. Let’s be clear, I wasn’t surprised because he didn’t deserve the invitation – what Willard is able to do is utterly extraordinary. It’s just that I’m know him as the friendliest, best-dressed guy on my street whose model airplanes used to fall into my back garden.

He moved away a little while back, which is a shame, although I understand he’s still around Birmingham.

So here’s TED’s blurb about Willard:

Willard Wigan tells the story of how a difficult and lonely childhood drove him to discover his unique ability — to create art so tiny that it can’t be seen with the naked eye. His slideshow of figures, as seen through a microscope, can only be described as mind-boggling.

Now please spare 20mins to watch Willard Wigan’s talk – Hold your breath for micro-sculpture:

Oh, and here’s a pic of me looking suitably dumbstruck last time I caught one of Willard’s exhibitions (pic by Pete Ashton):

Wesley Willis Exhibition

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.

3 replies on “My old neighbour spoke at TED”

  1. I remember meeting Willard at the Mailbox where he had a temporary studio. As well as his enthusiasm for his mind boggling work, he was full of anecdotes and would talk for hours to anyone – I’m not surprised he seems so comfortable in front of this huge audience!

    Deserved place in the Ted line up!

  2. Excellent. Surely he’s a candidate for the Walk of Stars nonsense on Broad st.? In fact, I’ve just nominated him (have they had any black people on there yet?).

    He used to have a studio on the top floor of the Big Peg in Hockley at the same time I was working there (mid-late 90s). I seem to recall big, as well as micro, sculpture stuff in there as well.

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