Lindisfarne Castle's Tiny Tales by James Bond prop designer Laura Johnson

By Ben Miller | 05 September 2012
A photo of various miniature figures of colourful visitors to a castle perched on rocks
Laura Johnson, Beach© Laura Johnson
Exhibition: Tiny Tales, Lindisfarne Castle, Berwick-upon-Tweed, September 8 – November 4 2012

The tiny scale of the first art show ever to be held at Lindisfarne Castle only adds to its allure.

Laura Johnson, a freelance prop maker whose commissions for adverts, TV and films have included Sherlock Holmes and the latest James Bond blockbuster, has made a series of miniature marvels, depicting centuries of histories at the castle. Lime kiln workers, royalty, cellists and architects are among the figures.

“The reason I work on this tiny scale is the challenge of creating details as small as possible,” says Johnson.

“There’s nothing more endearing than capturing a scene in miniature and making the image fun rather than ordinary.

“Some of the rooms inside Lindisfarne Castle are quite small. The building has been a fort, a castle and a home to a wide variety of people who will be recreated in the context through which they experienced the castle.

“What better place to discover a delightful miniature world?”

Simon Lee, the Castle’s Property Manager, spotted some of Laura’s miniscule-yet-photogenic creations at Cheshire’s Quarry Bank Mill two years ago.

“I love Laura’s work,” he says, having previously persuaded the likes of Ronnie Wood, Terry O’Neill and Bryan Adams to provide exhibitions for National Trust attractions.

“I have only recently moved to work at Lindisfarne Castle but it seemed the perfect place for this type of exhibition.

“The combination of her miniature figures and the rich history of the castle is such an unusual approach to telling stories in an artistic and creative fashion.

“We just had to give it go.”

  • Open 10am-3pm or 12pm-5pm (dependent on tides, check in advance). Admission £3.15-£6.95 (family ticket £15.80-£17.40).

More pictures:

A photo of a group of tiny miniature figures appearing to walk across sections of sand
Lime kiln workers© Laura Johnson
A photo of a tiny miniature figure standing on a surface next to intricately painted plates
Plates© Laura Johnson
A photo of a series of miniature figures appearing to walk across a section of sand
Workers© Laura Johnson
A photo of a tiny miniature figure appearing to read a book on a section of gravel
Windowsill© Laura Johnson
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