British Outsider Art

Ben Wilson

b. 1963

Ben Wilson was born in Cambridge and raised in Barnet, Hertfordshire by artistic, supportive parents who encouraged his urge to create. He embarked on a foundation course but realised that he did not like formal art training and retreated to the college grounds, where he spent most of his time making works from found wood, an activity he had begun as a child. In the woods adjoining the college, he created his first major piece ­ a massive human figure and chair ­ and went on to create a large number of arbours and figurative sculptures from fallen trees in the woods of North London. His complex carved creations range from Adam- and Eve-style figures to sprawling environmental creations. Wilson works spontaneously, tapping into the spirit of a place to produce pieces that are in keeping with their surroundings. Working primarily with found materials which he incorporates into collages or sculptural works, he seeks to highlight the problems of waste, pollution and erosion of the natural world. Since October 2004 he has been working full time making paintings on old chewing gum, brightening London pavements with his miniature masterpieces.

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