Gum Art Trail
February 4, 2012
Chelsea and I subscribe to several London event blogs to find out what’s going on around town. One of our favorites is The Londonist… and once we read this line about an upcoming event, we knew we had to check it out – “Ben Wilson made his name by applying artistic designs to that most unlikely of canvases, squashed pavement gum.” An artist who’s medium is discarded sidewalk gum?! We’re there.
Ben Wilson is a London-based artist who is doing his part to beautify the neighborhood by creating mini-paintings on found pieces of chewing gum. A small (and I mean SMALL) gallery/studio at Trinity Buoy Wharf was having a photographic show of his work. Also, between the train station and the gallery there is a scavenger hunt-like trail of gum art from Wilson. Chelsea and I bundled up on a freezing Saturday morning and headed out to Trinity Wharf, which is a part of town that we didn’t even know existed. What we found along the way was pretty awesome. Enjoy.
You can read more about Ben Wilson on a BBC feature with a video of him working here.
Our first find! And to give you an idea, this piece is a little bigger than the size of a quarter. We’re headed in the right direction. This is a painting of the building it is next to. Wilson often paints his surroundings. Found this hombre along the path. I told you it was cold, right? That water you’re looking at is frozen solid. Hey… a real life buoy! Cool. This one actually looks exactly like the street ahead of us. How the hell does he do it? This little diner was shipped over all the way from New Jersey. Dingy and old… it’s much cooler on the outside. Welcome to Container City, a community at Trinity Wharf built completely out of shipping containers. These containers have been turned into cool, urban homes. Such a great idea. Lettering on a shipping container. I saw this in the distance and had to check it out. I’m a sucker for sidecars. Love the hand-painted lettering on the gas tank. A giant old wooden rudder turned into a bench. This is something Chelsea’s dad would make. These containers have been turned into mini-music studios for teaching and recording. Crazy Burning Man-like kinetic sculpture with wings. One more Ben Wilson painting outside the gallery door. Gallery/studio owner Garry Hunter was an amazing ambassador for the neighborhood and the artist’s work. Some shots from the show (past work). One more on the way out. The Wharf is full of tiny artist studios and random pieces are scattered throughout. We spent some time exploring the rest of the wharf and found these interesting pieces. This is one of the craziest things we have ever seen. “Longplayer is a one thousand year long musical composition. It began playing at midnight on the 31st of December 1999, and will continue to play without repetition until the last moment of 2999, at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again.” Unfortunately, it had closed for the day… but we are definitely going back to check this out.