Nic Joly juxtaposes his incredibly intricate and delicate pieces of art with satirical subject matter and is never afraid to poke fun at himself or others.
From his studio in Alresford, Hampshire, as his starting point the sculptor uses his incredibly dry sense of humour for the minuscule tableaux and you only have to study his inaugural spring collection to see how light-hearted irreverence permeates each piece.
From the devil in a light bulb to a skier hurtling down a mountain of cocaine snow, Joly gains his inspiration from life and human transgression.
His obsession with creating such tiny masterpieces from intricately painted paper and cotton-wrapped wire came in 2005, when his first son was born.
“I would leave small doors, people and windows around the house for him to find and be intrigued by. I realised these creations were like small pieces of theatre, echoing the world around us. I started to frame them up behind glass, and here we are.”
The former furniture maker, who has spent his entire life whittling, creating and making objects, has created four stunning pieces of limited edition 3-D artwork each carefully hand-finished, painted and framed.
“I have long been fascinated with the miniature, even as a child making small scenarios out of paper and card to get lost with my imagination. This sense of play has never left me; the only thing that has changed are the subjects and observations I now tackle with my imagination and creations”
The figures in Joly’s works are all made from scratch using wire, thread, clay, paper and paint, which he then places into their own scenes. These scenes often incorporate everyday objects, be it a hollowed out light bulb, figures perched on a gun, or carrying the weight of an addiction such as a cigarette.
On The Edge
With the 3-D editions, Joly created the original figures and then through the lost wax process he cast the figures in bronze and painted them. They are then framed by him in the studio.
“It is so important to me that all aspects of my work are in my complete control, so I do everything from the frame making to the finished works. In my own small way I strive to create my own worlds and sculptures – to ask and bring the forefront dilemmas and questions that we all feel and face day to day – as well as highlight the madness that is all around us.”
Two of Joly’s satirical works have been made into giclée photographs for the first time.
Keeping The Spark Alive