James Bond is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He holds a degree in Fine Art, Sculpture from St Martin’s School of Art, London.
He has been carving wood and deepening his art practise for 44 years.
For over 25 of those years he has designed, managed and run social art projects for the public in their own settings, with a specific focus on working with young men, in collaboration with public bodies in the South West of England. These are now run through a Community Interest Company (CIC) which he set up: Carving Community. In 2013 a police study found that one of these projects, at Beacon Heath Arena Park, resulted in a 98% reduction in anti-social crime in the area.
In the Jubilee year he was presented to her Majesty the Queen at Exeter University. In 2009 he was also sent by the Home Office to The Hague to represent the UK in the European Crime Prevention Awards.
James started out as a trapper, fisher and hunter, working from 13 to 16 on a Devon country estate as a gamekeeper’s assistant and wood carver. He emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 21, working in the timber industry and as a self-employed carver, theatre prop and set maker.
He then traveled extensively, later returning to the UK and gaining his first class honours degree in Fine Art at the age of 30.
In 1995, James met cultural thinker James Hillman in Devon and was invited to study with him in the USA. James later became Artist in Residence at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California.
The influence of Hillman and his request to break art and creativity out into the everyday has been James’s pursuit for the past 27 years and has taken art projects into the public’s own settings, including others in a creative adventure as a part of their everyday.
From October 2014 to April 2017, James was employed by Age UK Exeter as the Manager of the Men In Sheds project. In this role he was responsible for supervising and supporting two paid staff plus a team of volunteers and ensuring the older men who used the project really got the most out of it.
Men In Sheds provides meaningful activity, company and support to around 60 older men with a wide range of needs from loneliness and isolation to physical and sensory disabilities and mild dementia.
Alongside the community work James has made artworks which include sculpture for upstate New York and many public and private commissions in the UK, working mostly in wood and bronze castings.