11th Dec, 2016

Artist raises more than £45k selling special mini sculptures in Solihull

Solihull Editorial 12th Nov, 2015 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

AN ARTIST who created 1,566 miniature sculptures, representing each day of the First World War, has raised more than £45,000 selling his work in Solihull.

Nic Joly is attempting to reach a whopping £150,000 for the The Royal British Legion and as part of his bid to commemorate the centenary of the first world war.

Each of the individual sculptures, which form a ‘Never-Forgotten’ series, has been labelled with a unique piece of information about a different day in the war.

The poignant artwork, which draws on the ultimate symbol of Remembrance and hope – the poppy – was released in July last year ahead of the 100th anniversary. In total, 454 editions have been sold.

The sculptures are available to buy for £695 at Castle Galleries, in Solihull – from each sale £100 is given to charity.

Each piece is expertly crafted by Nic, who uses bronze to craft the figures and tissue paper to form the petals of the poppy, with the miniature sculptures standing on a block of white marble. The former furniture maker also hand frames the intricate pieces in his studio in Hampshire.

Standing less than two inches high unframed, the tiny sculptures have been making a big impact touching the hearts of people around the world. Nic has received letters of thanks from as far afield as Canada, New Zealand and Japan.

Many people are buying their piece for deeply personal reasons – one lady bought the sculpture as an engagement present for her fiancé who was wounded in Afghanistan and as an ex-serviceman remembered his fallen comrades whenever he looks at the piece.

Nic said he was inspired to begin the ‘Never-Forgotten’ project after meeting a 96-year-old Battle of Arnhem veteran.

He added: “I have met some wonderful people since the launch of the Never-Forgotten project, from second world war veterans to double amputee soldiers from the Afghanistan conflict.

“Their stories put the world we live in into a crystal clear reality of what is important in life, we can learn so much from these unsung heroes.

“In my own small way, I want this piece to remind us that all those who have given their lives, in conflicts from the First World War until the present day, will be Never Forgotten.”

Neil Fox-Hammond, the gallery manager, said each may look the same but they were all unique with each one being painstakingly created by Nic.

Visit www.castlegalleries.com for more.