Interactive chewing gum displays were used to raise awareness of gum litter. The public were invited to stick their used gum to one of the points on a cross covered facade. This would then reveal a pointillist image or number after enough gum was deposited. The first image was the face of a historical character from the area, linked to a text-in guess-the-face competition.
Rationale: To raise awareness of the issue of chewing gum litter in a way that was visually interesting and interactive. The ‘guess-the-face’ competition aimed to remind users of the street’s distinct heritage by creating an image of the iconic historical figure, Charles Dickens.
Peppermint Pointillist was part of a 6-month anti-litter campaign in central London. Independent measurement by Keep Britain Tidy found that across the campaign, the amount of litter dropped by 26%. Behavioural observations also suggested that rates of littering behaviour decreased by 16% from before to during the campaign. The amount of chewing gum discarded decreased substantially in the months that Neat Streets focused on gum initiatives and then returned to normal levels in the following month.
As a number of gum-related activities took place on one single site simultaneously, it's not possible to assess whether any particular project made a significant enough difference to support its replication elsewhere.
The competition demanded too much from the user and was too abstract so the uptake was low. Therefore subsequent displays were made much simpler. Similar displays have been inspired elsewhere following on from Neat Streets, including Bob Marley and Usain Bolt themed Peppermint Pointillism at Nottinghill Carnival.
Agree a space for the artwork.
• Commission the design.
• Agree how long the artwork will be in place and how it will be maintained during the installation.
• Permissions required to install the display.
• Consider a fact or image that links to your local area.
• Keep it simple.
Contact Hubbub UK for provision of template for cross covered façade and displays.