USW student builds a bright future with LEGO®
Have you ever wandered around the Tate Modern in London, The Louvre in Paris, or maybe even the MoMA in New York and thought to yourself, “there’s not enough LEGO® in here?” Well, fear not, as a University of South Wales student has decided to fill the void.
31-year-old Andy Morris is an Interior Design student by day, and by night is the founder of Little Big Art, which claims to see LEGO® a little differently to most – not as little plastic bricks but as art.
From Warhol to Hirst, Mondrian to Emin, Little Big Art playfully realises these landmarks of art in LEGO®. And when they’re done playing with the little bricks (and after having a nice cuppa) Little Big Art likes to sculpt human-size versions of individual bricks and tiles and use these giant LEGO® pieces to create even more art! Putting you into the little plastic feet of a mini-figure and giving you a fresh twist on the way you see LEGO®.
Andy’s love of LEGO® is long and enduring:
“The first time I picked-up a LEGO® brick I knew good things were going to happen. Of course, back then I was just a child and good things equalled castles and dragons, but who doesn't love castles and dragons?!” he said.
Describing himself as a modern day British pop artist with a background in design, architecture, and strangely, finance, Andy explains the fascination with LEGO®:
“I’ve always been a lover of LEGO®. As far back as I can remember I’ve had LEGO® in my life – although I did have a hiatus of around a decade starting in my teens when I decided I was ‘too cool’ for LEGO®… How wrong I was!”
This is apparently ‘a thing’ among LEGO® aficionados and is known as ‘the Dark Ages’. Thankfully, as so many do, Andy rediscovered his passion.
“It was during the winter of 2012 that I began to experiment with pixelating images using different media – wood; tiles; stickers; LEGO®; you name it, I tried it. And, just like that, LEGO® had re-entered my life. Couple this with an unhealthy addiction to modern art - and a tenacious spirit to find the right brick – and Little Big Art was born.”
Unhealthy addiction may not be too far from truth. Andy claims to own more than 100,000 of the little plastic bricks in his studio (spare room), all sifted by size and colour. Remarkably, his fiancée is very understanding and supports his work, even when the living room fills up with boxes full of LEGO® on delivery day.
“The aim was to make modern art more fun and relatable to people - especially the younger generation - plus, I have great fun making these; and I hope it shows.
As Oscar Wilde once said: “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.” I try to imitate both.”
Andy’s art is catching on. At a recent exhibition of his work at Cardiff’s Gate Arts Centre, a buyer snapped up one of Andy’s pieces for a cool £1,500.
And now he’s taking his work to the big stage after being invited by LEGO® to exhibit at Brick2014, the must see, massive exhibition for all LEGO® fans at the ExCeL Centre in London next month.
“I’m really excited about it. The last few weeks I’ve just been flat out preparing my exhibits for Brick and I can’t wait to get there.”
With a burgeoning art career and his USW interior design course as well, Andy is building a bright and colourful future.