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A book on Ben Wilson and his chewing gum picture trail from St. Pauls, across London’s Millennium Bridge and into the Tate Modern.
313 backers pledged £8,806 to help bring this project to life.
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£8,806

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Ben Wilson, AKA The Chewing Gum Man, is an artist famous for his beautiful miniature paintings on chewing gum – and we believe his work deserves a book (or in time, a series of books!). Ben’s work sits outside the gallery space and in the public domain, and it’s there for everyone. Ben’s chewing gum picture trail, that runs from St. Paul’s, across the Millennium Bridge and into the Tate, has particularly piqued the interests of London’s many visitors – and it’s this which we want to celebrate with the book: Ben Wilson – The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail.

Ben working on the Millennium Bridge
Ben working on the Millennium Bridge

We first met Ben on the streets of Muswell Hill, where he was creating one of his famous chewing gum paintings. In time we got to know Ben and asked to interview him for a hyperlocal magazine that we’d created. Ben agreed and you can read the feature here, beautifully scribed by artist and historian Lito Apostolakou. However, Ben’s work hasn’t just featured locally (such as in this Channel 4 documentary) – he has received international attention, such as this piece in the New York Times

A selection of Ben's chewing gum paintings
A selection of Ben's chewing gum paintings

Ben’s art evolves out of the environment and the encounters he has with various people from all over the world, within that environment. They stop to observe, curious as to why he is lying on the ground painting. Some ask questions, “what are you doing?”, “why are you doing that?”. Ben is happy to chat and explain what he is doing, and why – and one of those reasons is to give a little space back to people in an environment dominated by advertising and other messaging that we have no say over. Often people come around to telling Ben their own story and ask him if he’ll paint a picture for them. They’re all carrying thoughts, burdens, mysteries, hopes – which Ben transforms to leave a long-lasting mark of remembrance or celebration on a meticulously worked chewing gum splat. And why chewing gum? Ben wants to turn a thoughtless action, something that is casually spat out and trodden into the ground, into a thoughtful one. Ben’s work sits in the public domain like few other artists; if you were to visit his Millennium Bridge gallery it might take more than a day to take in the 600+ of his paintings – the accident of shape, environment and the thoughts of hundreds of passers-by, brought together and translated into miniature art works. 

A selection of Millennium Bridge gum paintings
A selection of Millennium Bridge gum paintings

Ben is an activist, beyond the legalities governing painting within a public space (the chewing gums remain under the ownership of the people who spat them out), he’s also been discretely placing his art works within the Tate Modern. Gallery spaces worldwide define what is, and isn’t, accepted and recognised as art – what belongs and what doesn’t. Ben believes his work has just as much a right to be in these curated spaces, as anywhere else and has been dodging the Tate’s security guards for many years. While some are removed, there are still many of Ben’s miniature artworks in the Tate Modern – waiting to be discovered. Ben celebrates creative thinking and our right to create.

A gum painting inside the Tate Modern
A gum painting inside the Tate Modern

As Ben’s work is for everyone, we thought it made sense to reach out and crowdfund his book. Ben wants all his work to be accessible and inclusive – so we’re producing a 96-page A6 paperback which you can purchase for just £5 plus postage. To help fund the project we’re also going to produce a special hardback, in a limited edition of 250, which Ben will sign and number with a personal dedication, which you’ll be able to purchase for £30. There’s no way that we can fit all 600+ paintings in the book, and we’re working with Ben to bring together a representative selection of the works into print. The book will also contain an introduction and other short texts. If we meet our target – in the following two months we will finalise the design with Ben, and send it to print. Books will be ready October/November this year and make a fantastic souvenir for visitors, a special book for art lovers, or unique Christmas present. 

Mock-up pages for the book: Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail
Mock-up pages for the book: Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail

Add ons

Ben’s work isn’t all in miniature – his life-long work as an artist has produced a huge and diverse range of other environmental work including giant wood sculptures and intricate black and white diary tiles. While the majority of this work is in the UK, his work can also be found internationally in countries including USA, Finland, Germany, Norway, Serbia, Portugal, France, Belgium and Holland. If we’re successful with this Kickstarter, we hope to feature some of this work in additional books in the future. 


The View from the Millennium Bridge brick

One of the pledges is to purchase an original gum painting brick artwork that Ben produced especially for this Kickstarter campaign. It looks like this:


Who are we

We are editorial designer Luciane Pisani, filmmaker David Reeve, and publisher Gill Evans. 

David and Luciane successfully funded their hyperlocal magazine Village Raw through Kickstarter and have just printed issue number 7. While less than a year old, the magazine featured on a MagCulture panel discussion alongside Time Out, Courier and The South London Journal.  They founded Studio Moe in 2015 to explore possibilities within visual communication. They will soon be publishing a second magazine – more news on that soon! 

Gill Evans has worked for nearly 40 years in book publishing as an editor, editorial director and publisher and is now a freelance publishing consultant.

Risks and challenges

As long as we make our target, you will receive your order.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 2

    DONATE

    Maybe you feel you don't need a book but would like to donate some money for the chewing gum art. If we reach our target all donations will go directly to Ben.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 7

    The paperback book

    Get your copy of Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail. It's a 96page A6 (postcard) sized book that will look great on any coffee table - especially next to a really big coffee table book. Beyond that - it's just going to be a great journey into Ben's world, and the people he meets. Ben wanted to make the book affordable, which we believe £5 is, and we all wanted to make the book as environmentally friendly as possible - so we're printing it at one of the world's most eco friendly printers - waterless, no chemicals, recycled stock, renewable energy. The book will be ready for Christmas and make a great gift for young and old alike.

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    112 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    Two copies of the paperback book.

    A gift for your friends? Buy three copies of Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail. It's a 96 page A6 (postcard) sized book that will look great on any coffee table - especially next to a really big coffee table book. Beyond that - it's just going to be a great journey into Ben's world, and the people he meets. We all wanted to make the book as environmentally friendly as possible - so we're printing it at one of the world's most eco friendly printers - waterless, no chemicals, recycled stock, renewable energy. The book will be ready for Christmas and make a great gift for young and old alike.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    17 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 20

    Three copies of the paperback book.

    A gift for your friends? Buy three copies of Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail. It's a 96 page A6 (postcard) sized book that will look great on any coffee table - especially next to a really big coffee table book. Beyond that - it's just going to be a great journey into Ben's world, and the people he meets. We all wanted to make the book as environmentally friendly as possible - so we're printing it at one of the world's most eco friendly printers - waterless, no chemicals, recycled stock, renewable energy. The book will be ready for Christmas and make a great gift for young and old alike.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    39 backers
    £

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 39

    Limited edition hard back - SIGNED

    The same content as the soft back, but with a premium hard back cover and signed and numbered by Ben - with a personal dedication if desired. The books are all printed waterless offset on recycled stock, using renewable energy. This will make a great Christmas present for anyone interested in chewing gum, people, art, and the world in general. If you'd like a personal dedication please add a note when making payment.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 75 backers
    £

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 39

    Millennium Bridge gum trail tour

    Ben will take small groups on personal guided walks across the bridge. The walk will take about an hour and Ben will discuss his practice and some of the stories behind the gum pictures. At the end of the tour each participant will receive a copy of the paperback book. The walks will take place at the Millennium Bridge, London, UK, later this year.

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    Limited 3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About US$ 58

    10 copies of the paperback book.

    A gift for your friends, or some stock? Buy 10 copies of Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail. It's a 96page B6 (postcard) sized book that will look great on any coffee table - especially next to a really big coffee table book. Beyond that - it's just going to be a great journey into Ben's world, and the people he meets. We all wanted to make the book as environmentally friendly as possible - so we're printing it at one of the world's most eco friendly printers - waterless, no chemicals, recycled stock, renewable energy. The book will be ready for Christmas and make a great gift for young and old alike.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    £

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £60 or more About US$ 77

    2x Limited edition hard back - SIGNED

    Two copies of the hard back book. The same content as the soft back, but with a premium hard back cover and signed and numbered by Ben - with personal dedications if desired. The books are all printed waterless offset on recycled stock, using renewable energy. These will make a great Christmas presents for anyone interested in chewing gum, people, art, and the world in general. If you'd like personal dedications please add a note when making payment - we'll message you anyway to check.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 8 backers
    £

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £60 or more About US$ 77

    I'M A LOCAL - 2x the SIGNED book

    You're a local so rather than pay for the P&P you can arrange to visit a Muswell Hill address and pick the books up. Two copies of the hard back book. The same content as the soft back, but with a premium hard back cover and signed and numbered by Ben - with personal dedications if desired. The books are all printed waterless offset on recycled stock, using renewable energy. These will make a great Christmas presents for anyone interested in chewing gum, people, art, and the world in general. If you'd like personal dedications please add a note when making payment - we'll message you anyway to check.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    £

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £90 or more About US$ 116

    3x Limited edition hard back - SIGNED

    Three copies of the hard back book. The same content as the soft back, but with a premium hard back cover and signed and numbered by Ben - with personal dedications if desired. The books are all printed waterless offset on recycled stock, using renewable energy. These will make a great Christmas presents for anyone interested in chewing gum, people, art, and the world in general. If you'd like personal dedications please add a note when making payment - we'll message you anyway to check.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    £

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £125 or more About US$ 161

    An original gum painting on the bridge

    Ben will paint an original gum painting on the Millennium Bridge for you and you’ll also receive a selection of high-resolution digital images of the gum painting. We’ll be in touch with you, after the Kickstarter ends, to discuss the gum painting requirements. It’s important to note that Ben doesn’t usually takes payment for requests – he does his street art work with zero remuneration – and this is a way to support the production of the book. There’s no postage or packing involved with this as photo files will be sent digitally.

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    Limited 3 backers
    £

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £220 or more About US$ 283

    50 copies of the paperback book.

    A gift for lots of friends, your extended family and neighbours, or some stock? Buy 50 copies of Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail. It's a 96page B6 (postcard) sized book that will look great on any coffee table - especially next to a really big coffee table book. Beyond that - it's just going to be a great journey into Ben's world, and the people he meets. We all wanted to make the book as environmentally friendly as possible - so we're printing it at one of the world's most eco friendly printers - waterless, no chemicals, recycled stock, renewable energy. The book will be ready for Christmas and make a great gift for young and old alike.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    £

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £350 or more About US$ 449

    A gum painting on the bridge/in the book

    Ben will paint an original gum painting on the Millennium Bridge for you and you’ll also receive a selection of high-resolution digital images of the gum painting. Furthermore, your gum painting will be featured in the printed book – for which you will receive a signed hard back copy with a personal dedication if required. We’ll be in touch with you, after the Kickstarter ends, to discuss the gum painting requirements. It’s important to note that Ben doesn’t usually takes payment for requests – he does his street art work with zero remuneration – and this is a way to support the production of the book. The photo files will be sent digitally and the book posted.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge £420 or more About US$ 539

    100 copies of the paperback book.

    A gift for lots of friends, your extended family, neighbours, work colleagues, random acquaintances - or some stock? Buy 100 copies of Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail. It's a 96page B6 (postcard) sized book that will look great on any coffee table - especially next to a really big coffee table book. Beyond that - it's just going to be a great journey into Ben's world, and the people he meets. We all wanted to make the book as environmentally friendly as possible - so we're printing it at one of the world's most eco friendly printers - waterless, no chemicals, recycled stock, renewable energy. The book will be ready for Christmas and make a great gift for young and old alike.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    £

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    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge £600 or more About US$ 770

    LOCAL Chewing Gum Brick and signed book

    Ben has created a brick with a chewing gum painting featuring a view from the Millennium Bridge. Ben has painted the words: LONDON - GUMPIC - LONDON BRIDGE - 24/06/2019 - BW. On the back of the brick it ben has painted, in an illustrative way, the words: 2019 - GUMPIC ON BRICK - LONDON - Ben Wilson AKA chewing gum man. You can view some pictures of the brick in the project's description. You will also receive the hardback limited edition book as detailed above. You're a LOCAL and would like to pick up the brick in person from an N10, London address.

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    £

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    Kickstarter is not a store.

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  16. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 7

    Paperback book

    Get your copy of Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man - The Millennium Bridge Gum Trail. It's a 96page B6 (postcard) sized book that will look great on any coffee table - especially next to a really big coffee table book. Beyond that - it's just going to be a great journey into Ben's world, and the people he meets. Ben wanted to make the book affordable, which we believe £5 is, and we all wanted to make the book as environmentally friendly as possible - so we're printing it at one of the world's most eco friendly printers - waterless, no chemicals, recycled stock, renewable energy. The book will be ready for Christmas and make a great gift for young and old alike.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 39

    I'M A LOCAL - copy of the SIGNED book

    You're a local so rather than pay for the P&P you can arrange to visit a Muswell Hill address and pick the book up. The same content as the soft back, but with a premium hard back cover and signed and numbered by Ben - with a personal dedication if desired. The books are all printed waterless offset on recycled stock, using renewable energy. This will make a great Christmas present for anyone interested in chewing gum, people, art, and the world in general. If you'd like a personal dedication please add a note when making payment.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £90 or more About US$ 116

    I'M A LOCAL - 3x SIGNED books

    You're a local so rather than pay for the P&P you can arrange to visit a Muswell Hill address and pick the books up. Three copies of the hard back book. The same content as the soft back, but with a premium hard back cover and signed and numbered by Ben - with personal dedications if desired. The books are all printed waterless offset on recycled stock, using renewable energy. These will make a great Christmas presents for anyone interested in chewing gum, people, art, and the world in general. If you'd like personal dedications please add a note when making payment - we'll message you anyway to check.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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  19. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £600 or more About US$ 770

    Chewing Gum Brick and signed book

    Ben has created a brick with a chewing gum painting featuring a view from the Millennium Bridge. Ben has painted the words: LONDON - GUMPIC - LONDON BRIDGE - 24/06/2019 - BW. On the back of the brick it ben has painted, in an illustrative way, the words: 2019 - GUMPIC ON BRICK - LONDON - Ben Wilson AKA chewing gum man. You can view some pictures of the brick in the project's description. You will also receive the hardback limited edition book as detailed above.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    £

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Funding period

- (60 days)