They always say it’s a small world – but a city art student has been using tiny models to make a big point about appreciating what’s around us.
An Edinburgh student has become the talk of the town after sprinkling the city with miniature artworks designed to get residents off their phones and looking at the world.
Jack Proctor, who is in his final year studying design and digital arts at Napier University, came up with the wacky idea after noticing how many people spent their time walking around town with their heads buried in various electronic gadgets – completely oblivious to the sights and sounds of the beautiful city they live in.
His tiny sculptures play on popular social media expressions such as “browsing the web” and “trolling” – deliberately provoking argument or annoying people online – in order to bring the worlds of Facebook and Twitter back into reality and get people thinking.
And, ironically, his ant-sized project has already caused a mammoth stir online, with a special Facebook page dedicated to his delicate artworks raking up hundreds of ‘likes’ in the last few weeks alone.
But the 33-year-old, who is from Coatbridge but studies in the city, said his artworks were not “antisocial media”.
He said: “Its main aim is to encourage people to notice and appreciate more of what is around them in the real world, not just the virtual, and recognise the potential in everything, no matter how tiny.
“I was in Princes Street Gardens and I saw people walking by with their heads down, and it just struck me how much that happens. I thought I would take a different approach to it. Instead of trying to promote social media, this is something that brings the focus back to the real world.
“This is a way of taking things that are well known online and bringing them into the real world. The world is so online now.”
And Jack, who trained to be a nurse before switching careers and entering the design industry, said the best thing about the project was watching how people interact with his artworks.
He said: “I’ve been really surprised by the reaction. It’s great going back to the sites and seeing how people are reacting to it. I’ve seen people down on their hands and knees talking about it – it’s quite humbling.”
Jack’s mini artworks can be found across the city, with the latest sculptures placed in Princes Street Gardens, Royal Mile and The Mound.