When I hauled all my gum types, my colleagues suddenly became very interested in my project. Most had a feeling nostalgia connected to chewing gum, they fell into a state of remembrance. They connected the simplicity of gum to them playing around in a park with friends. The recognition a simple piece of for example (bubble)gum gets is astounding. To spoil my colleagues a bit I offered them the gum so they could taste their sweet childhood again. Opening the packages and smelling the sweet aroma is overwhelming. Taste wise most of the adults disliked the overly sugar taste. It was appalling to many, how sugary chewing gum actually is. The chewing gum seemed to connect people.
During this exploration, gum began to fascinate me. The material is often seen as nuisances, a by-product of society’s lack of respect for shared space, or a way to freshen your breath. As a mastication-addict I often use it to indulge myself in a wondrous and serene world. Chewing gum always seemed to leave its mark. I wanted to do something about this waste of material. So I searched for different collection/gather methods. One of which was a piece of fabric, called jute. It has a rough texture which will hold the gum easy. This sample is the result after 7 weeks.
This research started out as a quest to discover unconventional materials. I asked myself the following questions: What if the small sample becomes as big as a fabric? Could we make something new out of this material? How can we process it? Is it sustainable? Is it possible to collect large amounts of gum? How can this material become attractive to use?
When trying to answer these questions, I found that more research had to be done. This is how I started my chewing gum project. Explore this artist’s road of exploration which is full of personal experiments and her sources of inspiration.