The Millennium Bridge is a well-known modern landmark spanning the river Thames, linking the famous St Paul’s Cathedral with sights such as the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern that lie on the river’s southern bank. Given its well-placed location, the bridge is traversed daily by many visitors and locals alike. But most pedestrians fail to look down while they cross, and thus miss the tiny art gallery located right underneath their feet.
For over a decade, the artist Ben Wilson has been slowly turning the Millennium Bridge into an unsanctioned showcase for his small-scale works of art. Known locally as “The Chewing-Gum Man,” a title he’s happy to go by, Wilson crafts his images on the carelessly dropped pieces of used chewing gum that litter the bridge. Using a technique that involves layers of acrylic paint and lacquer, he turns each piece into a small work of art.
Thanks to his tireless efforts, the bridge is now covered in these miniature masterpieces, with subject matter ranging from landscapes to thoughtful messages and abstracts. If you’re lucky, you may even find Wilson in action, crouched on the ground and covered in paint. Unlike his art, he’s not hard to miss.Update as of October 2023: There are plans to remove the artwork as part of a bridge cleaning project.