Chewing on art

I love street art, those ephemeral curios that inhabit our public spaces. They enliven the sometimes bleak urban landscape, they showcase a talent that might otherwise remain hidden and they slow us down in what would otherwise be a pell mell experience.

These generous souls provide us with free art, they make us stop and think. It was a beautiful day, out early and by that lovely mucky river…

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Glorious Wren…

And today, one such genius had me squatting and on my knees on the Millennium Bridge while waiting for the Tate Modern to open.

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The Tate Modern outlooms even the Shard…

I was meeting fellow blogger and all round heroine of the recent #1000speak project Yvonne Spence but I was early, it was beautifully sunny and I’d read about Ben Wilson’s exploits on the bridge.

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my first spot…

Ben paints chewing gum. He sits and turns a piece of urban detritus into art. I couldn’t have timed it better since workmen are relaying the pavers that lead onto the bridge from the south side so some of his art will soon be recycled into a foundation somewhere as the concrete eaters get to work on his handiwork. I couldn’t snap all, and anyway that would spoil you finding your own but I give you, here, a gallery of Ben’s joyous splats of  creativity, in some cases possibly for the last time.

As I squatted a woman asked what I was doing. She joined me in recording these works. Maybe if anyone amongst you is crossing that bridge soon you will do the same. They aren’t intended to last but that’s no reason not to capture their spirit while you can.


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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25 Responses to Chewing on art

  1. Sacha Black says:

    Bloody brilliant they are. Stroke of genius

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Norah says:

    By gum! What will they think of next. I’m chewing over whether it is something I’d find interesting or not! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a great idea, chewing gum art. Never seen or heard of it before but this man has talent. I wonder how many people, like the woman who asked you, asked what he is doing?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    That is so interesting , I hope you both had a good day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Autism Mom says:

    Love these! We will be visiting the Millennium Bridge this summer and I will be sure to look for this wonderful art with my son!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Your blog is so good at teling us about your world that I cn imagine something like thismight just capture his imagination. There were over 400 apparently out that will have reduced with footsteps and the change of some paving but there will be lots on the bridge itself stuck in the cracks. If you can manufacture arriving by train into London Blackfriars (the overground not the tube) you get a fantastic view from the new platforms that span the river. It’s worth going up to the platforms on either side for one of the best views of London. Even if you don’t have a ticket the man on the barrier would usually let you in to look


      • Autism Mom says:

        You are very kind, Geoff, thank you! I think the art being reduced in number by the time we get there might actually be helpful – it will make finding them like a quest and could distract him if the bridge is really crowded or he is uncomfortable with the height over the river. We will definitely take your advice on getting a view from the train platform at Blackfriars, thanks much for that suggestion!

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Just a thought; I’m guessing this is a visit to the UK (you’re blog post suggesting coyotes are a problem walking the dog gives this way if nothing else). If so and if you need something for your son, there are autism friendly screenings regularly at the picture house cinemas – these are great independent cinemas all over the country linked by that banner – this is a link to explain Picturehouse-cinemas-hold-autism-friendly-screenings this tells you about them from the National Autistic society website. On those rainy days when you’re all going up the wall… Just a thought and if this isn’t at all the right thing sorry for getting my assumptions skewwhiff 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Cindi says:

    Fascinating! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charli Mills says:

    Yvonne Spence! How exciting! Hope you both had a great visit! It’s like Spiderman getting to meet up with Wonder Woman. And the gum is profoundly different from the art that seeks longevity and legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

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