Today was Willard Wigan day at Manchester Central Library. Amy didn't come with us in the end. She'd double booked herself and her friends won over family. Such is life. So it was just the three of us.
In case anybody is wondering, these needles are just the average sized ones used for sewing. It's practically impossible to see the artwork and anything you do see just looks like a speck of dust.
I don't know whether I'd missed the fact that Willard himself was going to be there or whether he'd just decided to make a surprise appearance, but when we arrived there he was. In The Flesh!
The room was set up with about 20 pieces of his work and obviously the only way to see them was through a microscope. We'd only been in the room a few minutes when he came in clearly aware that Thomas and a couple of ladies couldn't see through some of the microscopes because they were too high.
He grabbed a chair for Thomas and also encouraged everybody who wasn't tall enough to pull the microscope down to their height. Thomas was a bit hesitant at first but Willard kept saying "a bit more, a bit more". It's not often you meet an artist who doesn't mind the hands on approach. He seemed very at ease with Thomas man handling his exhibits. My heart was in my mouth!
The pieces are fantastic. They can take a couple of months to produce and he's inhaled a few which he quite undramatically stated "can be a bit annoying".
Thomas loved the whole thing and we bought a signed book and asked for a cheeky photo which he was more than happy to oblige us with. He even checked the photo was OK because he'd had one taken earlier in the day and "the light shone off my head making me look like a malteser".
On the way back to the car our second bonus of the day was a parade of marching bands. I love the sound of drums, it sends a shiver down my back.
We had a lovely day and if there is ever a Willard Wigan exhibition near to you, I definitely recommend you go and see it.