Renowned Essex-based artist Billie Bond, whose work has graced the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square, is back with a brand new exhibition 'The Clinker Connection - When Humans Change Nature'.
In 2009, Billie’s sculpture of her sister, who has Downs Syndrome, took pride of place on the 4th plinth at Trafalgar Square, under Anthony Gormley’s curation for ‘One and Other’. Billie became the artist in residence at Chelmsford Museum and her sculpture study of local people, ‘A Portrait of Chelmsford’, became part of the museum’s permanent collection in 2011. Billie won the Pure Art Sculpture Prize in 2013 and her winning work was exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery. On a more light-hearted note, Billie was commissioned by Alan Carr’s Chatty Man TV show to make a bust of one of its guests, Lionel Ritchie.
The ‘The Clinker Connection’ uses Clinker, a stony residue left over from industrial processes, as the inspiration for her new exhibition. The material is found all over Essex , such as in old brick walls, and Billie uses it to question ideas of consumerism through industrial ancestry. Billie says: “This seemingly non-descript material played an important part in the growth of towns and cities, and I see clinker as a gnarly golden nugget of history with connotations that informs my installations, looking at the overlooked and forgotten”. Billie continued: “I hope to challenge people’s perceptions of the clinker material and to look beyond the idea of it being insignificant”.
Of the museum’s gallery Billie says: “Chelmsford Museum’s exhibition space is a great environment to experience visual art and I hope the ‘Clinker Connection’ exhibition will offer an insight into contemporary arts culture to the people of Chelmsford”.
Billie was born in Northumberland in 1965, but grew up in Essex and continues to live in the county. Billie took up sculpture after a back injury forced her to change career direction from a design-maker producing bespoke furniture, interior design and painting murals. Studying 3D Design and Craft at the Colchester School of Art, and then gaining a Masters in Sculptural Practice, led to her work being bought for both public and private collections.
Billie last exhibited at the museum in 2017, and has since been selected to be a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors.