Jim Broadbent’s quirky creations on display in London

While Horace Slughorn, the character he portrays in the Potter films, might “collect” people, Jim Broadbent creates people. Well, tiny wooden people, anyway. Broadbent has been working on his assemblage of miniature statues during his downtime for the past six years, and his collection is now on display for the first time ever at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Each of Broadbent’s 21 completed figures is carved, painted, and given real human hair, which he cuts from wigs. He also dresses each of them in children’s clothes that he finds in second-hand shops.

These incredibly quirky carvings often get mixed reviews from people who see them for the first time, but Broadbent doesn’t seem at all fussed by those who might find them “creepy.”

They are not claiming to be anything other than what they are. If people don’t like them that’s all right, but it is obviously nice if they do.

The little statues are remarkably realistic, so it comes as no surprise that Broadbent often gets asked if he bases them on people he knows. While he does not intentionally set out to model them after his acquaintances, Broadbent does say that

They start reminding me of people sometimes, and I pursue that; I stick with it until the chisel slips, and I go in another direction.

Broadbent clearly enjoys the artistic outlet creating these statues provides. He describes the process, saying,

This is a hobby; I’m sure it’s therapeutic. It stimulates me, gets me up in the morning, so it’s a passion as well. I’m keen to get back to it, quite keen to see which way he/she is going to develop. I love getting better at it.

The statues will be on display as part of the Festival of Love at Southbank Centre until August 31. Broadbent feels the festival is an appropriate place for his creations to make their public debut. He says,

They are people, and people depend on love and give love and need love, and maybe these people love each other.

Will you be going to visit Broadbent’s statues at the festival? Do you find them fun, quirky, or a bit creepy?