Ben Wilson was born in Cambridge, England, in 1963, and was raised in a creative and supportive family in the North London area of Barnet. His first sculptures were created as a teenager on the grounds of his school. He briefly attended a year of university-level study at Middlesex University, but decided to drop out and become a full-time artist in 1983. Crawling through a fence onto the heavily wooded grounds of the adjacent Oakleigh Theological College, Wilson began to secretly construct several large found wood sculptures around the campus. Over the next six years, he continued to make anonymous constructions both on the campus and in the nearby Hadley Woods of North London. Wilson works spontaneously and incorporates found materials from the area into his creations.
In 2004, Wilson became a local celebrity and sensation for his miniature paintings on discarded chewing gum on the sidewalks throughout London. Initially, his tiny works of art garnered unwanted attention from the authorities, including an arrest in 2009 by the City of London Police, but the charges were dropped after dozens of people wrote letters of support for him, and he was found to not be breaking any laws. Wilson's sculpture and painting work has been commissioned and exhibited all over the world, including in the U.S., Germany, Ireland, Finland, France, Serbia, and his native England.
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