He’s Gum Mad!

By Evie Purves


What do you think about gum on the street pavements? Disgusting? Dirty? Well, I think the majority of us would agree. But not this man…

Ben Wilson has been brightening up the pavements of London for the past eight years with his weird yet wonderful hobby of painting discarded chewing gum. His tiny artworks are becoming a regular sight in parts of London and he even gets requests from the public! Not so long ago, The Royal Society of Chemistry asked Mr Wilson to paint each of the 118 elements.

Despite his actions receiving a raised eyebrow or two, Ben Wilson has described it as “making something special out of what people find disgusting…people have the right to be creative”.  He has so far created more than 8,000 chewing gum masterpieces.

Mr Wilson has said he has a tendency to “go for the older ones as they have less moisture which makes it easier to paint”. Although just to be on the safe side, Wilson brings along his Bunsen burner to dry out any chewing gum that he deems “too moist”.

This is no quick job though! Wilson spends anything between one hour and three days creating his mini masterpieces, and doesn’t settle for anything less than perfection. He has even appeared on a television programme in South Korea about his strange pastime, which has made him into a minor celebrity. What a legend!

Perhaps more people should get involved? One thing is for sure, Mr Wilson is the epitome of creativity!

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