Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The right trousers

I inherited six manual typewriters, gave away five and regret it. Please send unwanted ones my way.

I use my remaining one to hammer out the words on the cover illustration below: it needs an air of effort and energy, to reflect the work of the students who've written Big Voice London's look-alike Law Commission reports.

Graphic design: Peter Sloper
I want a colourful background. The overalls worn by Ben Wilson, the Chewing Gum Artist, are perfect. He paints miniatures on gum deposits in London and beyond, using acrylics, car varnish and a mini-blowtorch. His uncle worked on an oil tanker, hence the orange cotton serge jumpsuits.

Uncharacteristically monochrome - Ben Wilson
The sun was bouncing off the paint crust on Ben's overalls last time I visited him on the Millennium Bridge. You'll find hundreds of his works there; he also paints on more portable objects such as bricks.

He depicts the passing scene or fulfils orders in his notebook, many of which commemorate births, marriages and deaths. He also paints at the whim of tourists.

One tourist, a girl of ten in an expensive coat, was showing off about having a YouTube channel and bullying her kid sister, who didn't. Ben stood up, spread his arms wide like the Angel of the North and gave the girls a ringing explanation of human values.

Oxford Street

Lichen on Ted Hughes's memorial stone, Dartmoor

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