We really like the commitment of promising young UK designer Thomas Wightman. Showcased here are two school projects by the recent grad. That’s right, school projects. Wightman aimed high with these tremendously conceptual sculptures, and executed them with perfection. The intricate details are truly astounding. The objective of the assignments (aptly titled The Medium is the Message) was to visually interpret a theme (Wightman chose addiction, with a focus on obsessive driven addictions) through a chosen medium. In his own words, Wightman explains the medium he selected and the meaning behind his first piece: “The book firstly is closed hiding the addiction from view in the same manner as those who hide these addictions from loved ones and friends. However when the book is opened it reveals the chaotic emotions felt. Panic attacks are heavily associated with Obsessive Compulsive disorder and I wanted to convey this through the metaphor of a sinking ship in a vortex drowning from the obsession. Also the symptoms of a panic attack include loss of breath in the same way as drowning in water. However I wanted to add the anchor and typographic rope showing these problems can be solved and the ship can be saved in the same way as those who suffer from OCD when they receive proper treatment.”
For his second book sculpture, Plagued by Doubt, Wightman delved a little deeper into the emotion associated with living with OCD. Wightman explains: “I wanted to convey this idea by making a plague of insects. I decided on moths because I wanted to suggest that the book has been hidden and left, and the moths have eaten away at the pages of the book. This shows that if you don’t seek treatment for OCD, it can become both physically and mentally damaging. Also, typography was used to show the idea that these moths have made a nest within the book – representative of the fact that OCD is usually with a person for life. It lives within and is not noticed until the book is opened, releasing the moths and solving the problem to demonstrate that with proper help, OCD can be treated.” Conceptually and aesthetically beautiful.