Art and Rewilding at the Urban Fringe – Ben Wilson

Part of the work of Rewilding is that it is an idea about how place should be understood. A rewilded place is a place that helped along, then is left to make itself.

Given this we could understand rewilding at the urban fringe in art terms, as an artistically expressed idea in which native species make an urban place wilder through their own creative outlet, which is what wilderness, and art is, it creates itself.

You could say than, following this line, that Graffiti art was a way of rewilding urban spaces. An art form created by black and hispanic people in the cities and specifically the bits of cities that were, literally, wild places at the edge of the less wild respectable places, with Graffiti now ironically, partly gentrified as ‘Street Art’. Rewilding, takes place along a continuum, as does the urban fringe.

This is about Ben Wilson. Chewing Gum Man, who makes art from the detritus of human life. He starts his work with an ethos about who should control urban space, and about art as an act of making not selling. Truly an inspiration.

His work promotes a dialogue through art, about place and who controls it and what purpose art serves.

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