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As a keen recycler I know all about the importance of taking something someone no longer wants and turning it into something positive, but I have to draw the line somewhere and that line has been well and truly crossed by an artist called Ben Wilson.
Ben paints pictures on chewing gum that has been discarded on London's pavements or stuck on walls and railings, then lacquers it to give it longevity.
Ben says he used to find himself getting upset seeing all the gum on London's streets, so thought he'd work with it and make it into something positive. Apparently he's now produced "thousands upon thousands" of pieces and he even takes personal requests.
The BBC's The One Show, where I learned about this odd habit, reports that Ben's local council and the police seem to view him as a unique community artist.
Do please take a look at:
bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01n1t6d/The_One_Show (the bit about Ben is around half way through) and let me know whether you feel, as Ben does, that his work is about "making people take responsibility".
27th September 2012