Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings fellow traveller,
As a young boy, Willard Wigan was told he would amount to nothing. He had undiagnosed dyslexia and was derided by his teachers for not learning to read. At the age of five, Willard turned to art as a place to escape from ridicule, as a way to express his compassionate nature and as a small piece of rebellion. Told he would amount to nothing, he set out to prove that nothing did not exist. He began by making houses for ants, reasoning that they should have somewhere to live. He then made them shoes and hats, and his work was so small that no one could criticise it.
The image of the camels in the eye of the needle shows some more of his rebellious streak – not so hard for them when they are microscopic!
In order to create his art, Willard has to enter a meditative state which slows down his breathing and heart beat so that his hand does not tremor. He sculpts between pulse beats.
Willard uses grains of sand, dust fibres, gold and spider’s webs in his work, and to paint his sculptures, he uses the hair of a housefly.
So what do we learn from Willard’s work? Here’s what I think:
Nothing is impossible.
Thinking outside the box is vital for impossible to become possible.
Small is beautiful!
Coupled with compassionate imagination, a little rebellion can be a good thing.
Finding beauty opens doors of possibility.
If you set yourself an impossible task, you must be prepared to pray as you go.
Willard has been honoured by the queen with an MBE, and he is a dedicated supported of charitable causes, many of which help children in less privileged circumstances.
How might he have pursued his artistic gift without the derision of his teachers? Would he have developed his art if he had become sullen and harboured resentment, or violently acted out his frustration?
We will never know.
We simply marvel at the skill he has honed, and the humour and heart he has given it.
Nothing is impossible for God. So then all things are possible.