Willard Wigan & Antidote Art Launch Charity Trust at Crufts 2015
Willard Wigan MBE, the globally renowned microscopic sculptor that has been cited as the Eighth Wonder of the World, announced the launch of his own charitable Dog Trust at this year’s Crufts Dog Show with the help of his friends at Antidote Fine Art.
The Birmingham based (and Wolverhampton born) artist has immortalised the Obama family in the eye of a needle and Muhammad Ali on the head of a match, and was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records for his micro works of art. His endeavours have also seen him awarded an MBE by HRH The Queen. Yet, sometimes you have to look backwards to move forwards and the global artist felt it was time to give back to the animals that have helped inspire his successful career. The sculptures that Willard creates are so incredibly small that he works under a microscope and employs ingenious tools, such as a fly's hair or an ex-girlfriend's eyelash for paintbrushes. This passion for the diminutive stems from feelings of insignificance in Wigan's childhood. He was severely dyslexic but undiagnosed, and his teachers' harsh words drove him to hide in a nearby shed where he made shoes and hats for his friends, the ants.
‘My work is a reflection of myself,’ says Wigan. ‘I wanted to show the world that the little things can be the biggest things. At school, I couldn’t express myself and felt like ‘nothing.’ I wanted to experiment with the world that we can’t see.’ On one occasion, whilst in his hiding place, Willard was found by a dog. The animal collected things for Willard and became a companion when he needed it most. This ‘man’s best friend’ scenario proved to be a fundamental influence on Willard’s love of dogs and the kindness shown by this particular dog caused an epiphany for the artist that would go on to inspire his charity and his latest masterpiece, Derek the Dog.
Derek the Dog is an immortalized Bichon Frise. The sculpture is no larger than 1/3 the size of a grain of sugar, yet its impact on the dogs’ world could be gigantic, as it marks the first fundraising activity for Willard’s new charitable Trust. Wigan comments; “This has been a really important work for me as I have been looking for an opportunity to raise money for dogs in need for a long time. As someone who loves animals and dogs in particular, it made sense to launch my own charity, using my skills and profile as an artist to raise funds and awareness for local dog’s homes and charities that struggle to run on donations alone. As a nation of animal lovers, I’m hoping the General Public will help me raise some much-needed funds for these incredible animals – it will make a massive difference.”
Wigan’s fundraising intentions are two-fold: the first is to invite the General Public to ‘Adopt Derek’ and help him to help other dogs in need. A donation of £15 will buy you a share in Derek's ‘adoption’ and help him raise much needed funds for these incredible dog charities – many of whom rely solely on goodwill donations. Each ‘Parent’ will receive an adoption certificate and regular updates on Derek's Charity work and life. He will introduce you to some of his friends along the way, and you can keep tabs via a special link on his progress. To ‘adopt’ Derek and help him with his charity work simply go to antidoteart.com select ‘Adopt Derek’ and add the number of ‘shares’ you would like to your basket. Each Parent will get their adoption pack with unique information and a special link that will allow you to uniquely follow his progress. The second strand of his fundraising strategy is the unique chance to Immortalise Your Dog. The General Public – a nation of dog lovers – are being openly invited to bid for a chance for Willard Wigan to create a truly unique piece of microscopic work based around their four-legged friend. It is a legacy like no other that will live on forever more.