Chelmsford Museum is hosting a new sculpture exhibition by renowned Essex-based artist Billie Bond at the museum's ‘Mezzanine Gallery'. The exhibition titled ‘Perfect for Imperfection - The Art of Healing' features work from Billie's first solo London exhibition in April 2017.

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.

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 Practise, led to her work being bought for both public and private collections.

Billie says of her work: "It explores the psychological trauma and healing as a physical narrative through the sculptured portrait". Her work is inspired by the ancient Japanese art of ‘Kintsugi', which is the repair of broken ceramics with gold. Billie continues: "Monochromatic Masks aim to communicate a relationship between reality and performance - nature verses nurture. This is me, but who should I be today? The work not only aims to present a colourful personality but also aims to parallel itself with the superficiality of popular culture, materialism and pressures to conform in a consumer driven society". The Billie Bond exhibition is now open to the public and runs until the end of the year.

Nick Wickenden, Museum Manager, Chelmsford Museum, says: "Whilst the museum celebrates the wonderful history of Chelmsford, and includes artwork by Grayston Perry, we want the museum's galleries to be forward looking and support artists on the rise the art stars of today and tomorrow." Nick continued: "The exposure that artwork gets via our visitors makes the gallery an exciting and vibrant place to both display and appreciate artwork."

The museum's Gallery Wall space is currently exhibiting art work by the Year eight boys at King Edward VI Grammar School (KEGS). The drawings, lino prints and clay masks were inspired by the museum's collection of stuffed animals, and as such allowed the boys to examine the animals features in fine detail. The boys used techniques such as continuous line drawing, pencils, water colours and produced masks inspired by traditional and contemporary Japanese masks used in theatres and festivals. The exhibition runs until Sunday 12 November 2017.

To discover more about Chelmsford Museum, visit: http://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/museumevents

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