On Being the Right Size

Last night I went to Miniatures, one of the Wellcome Collection’s brilliant themed evenings.  Steven Connor‘s talk was very good, peppered with humour and interesting thoughts . He explored the different aspects of our relationship with tiny things.  We have all been tiny, and have a tiny memory of our tiny self, so it’s quite complicated.  Amongst other things there’s awe (See Willard Wigan’s micro sculptures, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs below), affection, the desire to nuture (The Simpsons  The Genesis Tub), carelessness (The Twilight Zone Little People, part 3)  and curiosity (The Numbskulls from Beano).

He talked about the physical properties of tiny things, including their relationship to gravity, here he mentioned J.B.S Haldane’s 1928 essay On Being the Right Size. I was glad to find the text online, it’s great.
Upstairs in Medicine Man there were some lovely Bonsai trees from Kew on display.

In Medicine Now there was a flea and talented small insect room curated by Pestival.  Percy Smith’s The Acrobatic Fly from 1910 was accompanied by a gentleman on the piano keyboard.   There were 3 performances by a flea circus, which was very funny, I don’t think that there were any fleas, but lots of flames and imaginative suggestion instead. 

A little table top displayed some Mexican dressed fleas or Pulgas Vestidas, from the Natural History Museum.  I’ve seen the little couple in Tring (below).  What a thought-provoking evening.


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