What began as Nic Joly's hobby has transformed into a passion for sculpting minute depictions of everyday life. His thought-provoking sculptures ask the questions we are too scared to pose ourselves.
His artistic career was born in a stained glass and metal workshop. Inspired by Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, Nic explored his own unique style and began to create his tiny figurines. Each one is made from wire, paper and clay, with the sculptor recently turning his hand to LED technology and 3D printing.
Placed in their own little universes, his tiny characters offer viewers an intimacy akin to peering through the windows into a stranger’s life. But within that glimpse, we can recognise ourselves.
Nic says: “In my own small way, I strive to create my own worlds to ask and bring to the forefront the dilemmas and questions that we all feel day-to-day, as well as highlight the madness around us.”
All of Nic's figures are carved as originals in wire and plaster before being cast in solid bronze using the lost-wax process. Also known as cire-perdue, this is a method of metal casting whereby a molten metal is poured into a mold that has been created with a wax model. Once the mold is created, the wax model is melted and drained away.
When dry, they are sanded down (either with a belt sander or a teeny-tiny strip of sandpaper) and cleaned before being hand-painted. The scaffolding is brazed with a blowtorch to create texture and a natural colour definition before being cut out of the thin plywood. Once Nic has all of the necessary parts, he can begin the painstaking construction.
Nic adds: "I am fascinated with the little details of our lives. My work is about celebrating the small, yet important, parts we all play in the evolution of the world.”
Nic will be kicking off the last-ever event from the Life's a Carnival tour at our South Molton Street gallery, where it all began. Featuring showstopping technology and techniques, his art illustrates themes of love, laughter and curiosity - channeled through infrared sensors and nano LED lights. Nic says: "It's sad that the tour is coming to an end, but it's always a fantastic show at South Molton Street!"
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