Out of Da Wood : Sculpture by Bill Ming

Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Sculpture is the three-dimensional art work which is physically presented in the dimensions of height, width and depth. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or moulded or cast.

England –  Out of Da Wood brings together a collection of new and existing work by Bermudian born Newark-based artist Bill Ming. The exhibition is a celebration of the artist’s work as a storyteller and explores his beautifully crafted transient sculptures. From growing up in Bermuda to settling in the UK during the 1970s, his personal tales are told through his work and reflect audiences’ spiritual and emotional journeys. The exhibition draws inspiration from key moments in Bill Ming’s life, touching on segregation, the story of his immigration to England, and his reception once he arrived. It also inadvertently tells much about the environment, culture, politics and history of Bermuda. Bill Ming, who came to Nottinghamshire in 1971, said he hopes visitors to the exhibition will recognise and relate to the personal experiences he describes. “Like many African artists I am a wood carver and storyteller, sharing my visions and messages with a multicultural village that links instinct with a contemporary perspective through my education and experience,” he said. “These ideas are reflected in my sculpture as well as collage. I often reuse old work along with fragments of timber and found objects. They exist as a kind of cultural archaeology, their present meanings both echoing and reflected in time gone by.” Curated by Lucy Atkinson, Out of Da Wood, highlights Bill Ming’s use of wood and various materials to create cultural collages which reflect the spiritual and emotional journeys of many. Atkinson said Bill’s work itself is a journey.  

Bill Ming, New Art Exchange, Nottingham © Bartosz Kali 

  “Bill Ming is a storyteller in every sense of the word. Bill’s sculptures are in a constant state of flux, transient pieces that are constantly being added to – eventually they will be broken down and given a new life in a different story,” she said. In one wood and mixed media sculpture of a school boy sitting at a wooden desk titled Old School Bill Ming highlights the importance of tracing our roots, stating that if he knew the school he attended was built by ex-slaves he might not have joked around so much. “My work is a journey of exploration, in which other travelers are essential. An art of healing not dealing, of exorcism not commercialism,” he said.  

Bill Ming. Image © Bartosz Kali


Events Details :

WHAT : Launch of Out of Da Wood WHEN : Friday 26 July, 6pm – 9pm TIME :  6PM – 9PM WHERE : Main Gallery, New Art Exchange, 39-41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 6BE COST : FREE, all are welcome RSVP :  info@nae.org.uk  For further information please contact: Emma O’Neill, Marketing and Communications Manager on e: emma@nae.org.uk  T: 0115 924 8630  

Bill Ming. Image © Bartosz Kali 


About Bill Ming

Bill Ming was born in Bermuda and settled in England in 1971. He studied at Mansfield College of Art from 1975-76 and gained his degree in Sculpture and Creative Writing from Maidstone College of Art in 1979. He has since worked as a sculptor and fine artist from his base in Newark, Notts. UK. Bill has been involved in numerous community projects and workshops covering a range of art activities and techniques in addition to sculpture. He has taught at several art colleges and was an active participant in the AEMS (Arts Education for a Multi-cultural Society) project. He has also acted as an advisor and exhibition selector. Bill Ming was the Henry Moore Sculpture Fellow at John Moores University in Liverpool 1992-93. As a sculptor Bill draws inspiration from personal experiences and a rich cultural heritage that originated in Africa, the Americas and Europe. Bill uses wood and various materials to create cultural collages which reflect the physical and spiritual aspects of life in all forms. In November 2006 the Arts Council of Bermuda honoured Bill with a Lifetime Achievement Award.   About Lucy Atkinson Lucy is an independent curator, and project manager. Since 2001 she has curated, managed and supported exhibitions at galleries and artist led spaces in the region, including Angel Row Gallery, New Art Exchange, and Leicester City Art gallery. She has expertise and a growing reputation for presenting the culturally diverse work, particularly Black and Asian artists. At Southwell Artspace, she was Associate Development Manager.  

About New Art Exchange

New Art Exchange is a contemporary art gallery committed to stimulating new perspectives on the value of diversity within art and society. A stunning, RIBA award winning building, New Art Exchange is the largest space in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts, and is rooted in the community with a strong history of working with minority communities. NAE presents major international exhibitions, launching the British Art Show in 2010, and every season presenting work from the highest quality, world-renowned artists.  NAE partners locally, nationally and internationally, connecting audiences and artists from all over the world with new and innovative collaborations and opportunities.   Feature Image : Bill Ming in his studio

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