Jason and his Argonauts

About the Artist

 Jason Wilsher-Mills is a disabled digital artist who initially trained as an oil painter. He later learned to ‘embrace the pixel’ and use digital technology when he became disabled. Jason has exhibited widely, both internationally and throughout the UK, including presenting work at V&A Late, Tate Exchange at Tate Modern and Liberty Festival, London. He has produced commissions for Sky Arts, ITV, the British Council and the Houses of Parliament and was the recipient of the prestigious Adam Reynolds Award 2020.

Jason’s work celebrates disability, his northern working-class heritage, popular culture from his childhood and the life experiences of other disabled people. These themes are explored through cutting edge technologies, resulting in Jason’s brightly coloured, large-scale, humorous art. When asked what his work is about, he simply replies – ‘Think ‘I, Daniel Blake’ meets ‘The Beano’.’

Initially, the use of technology in place of the more traditional mediums posed a challenge, as he felt conflicted about the validity of making digital art, considering it a betrayal of his traditional training. However, following the purchase of an iPad in 2011, he came to truly embrace the possibilities of digital technology to create art and expand his practice from purely two-dimensional work.

This transition from analogue to digital has allowed Jason to greatly extend his artistic voice, enabling him to create a stunning array of both two and three-dimensional work. Lightbox installations, three dimensional prints, fibreglass and large-scale inflatable sculptures, as well as wallpapers and floor coverings are now part of his creative repertoire. Jason then adds further depth to his artworks by embedding hidden digital content within. These augmented reality experiences are unlocked through free to download apps which are available for both iPhones and Android mobiles through Google Play and the App Store.

For more information about the artist: https://www.jwmartist.co.uk

About the Exhibition

   

Jason & his Argonauts is an Arts Council England funded project, which sees Jason working with disabled communities around the UK to design the work, including Venture Arts in Manchester and groups in North Lincolnshire, Hull, Corby and London.

 Exploring themes of disability, this new body of work will tell the stories of these geographically diverse, learning-disabled groups, mixing them with Jason’s own biography, creating new narratives and myths about the artist.

Toilet Argonaut by Jason Wilsher-Mills

At the centre of this exhibition is Jason’s most ambitious work to date; a 10 metre long inflatable sculpture which has been designed so that visitors can walk through it and interact with images inside the ‘tunnel’. This giant sculpture will relate people’s stories from the Changing Places movement – a campaign calling for fully accessible toilets equipped with height adjustable changing benches, tracking hoists and space for two carers, to be installed in all large public venues throughout the UK. The tunnel through the sculpture will be richly decorated and scanned digitally, so that it can feature in Jason’s augmented reality universe.

This huge Toilet Argonaut inflatable will be accompanied by Jason’s other vibrant, hyper-joyful inflatable and fibreglass sculptures and light box digital paintings, along with highly ornate flooring and wallpaper, which will be interactive and linked to the free to download Augmented Reality app, which will accompany the exhibition. For smaller venues, Jason has produced a scaled down version of the Toilet Argonaut.

The Augmented Reality experience will be surreal, highly coloured and fully interactive, allowing the viewer to download the work in their own home and experience the three-dimensional, interactive sculpture, with the added ability to unlock ‘Easter eggs’ such as films and videos about the work.

Jason will also be available for in person or virtual workshops at an additional cost.

The exhibition will be on show at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre from 9 October 2021 to 22 January 2022.    It will then be available to hire from February 2022.

The hire fee for the exhibition will be in the region of £3500 per eight-week period plus onward transportation and includes:

  • Delivery and assistance with installation and dismantling. Collection of the exhibition will be carried out by 20-21 and will be charged at cost.
  • Text panels and labels.
  • A video presentation of the artist talking about his work.

For further information, please call Janine Parrish on 01724 297070 / 297076 or email: janine.parrish@northlincs.gov.uk

Tour Schedule

20-21 Visual Arts Centre 9 October 2021 to 8 January 2022
Exhibition available 12 February to 23 April 2022
darts, Doncaster 30 April to 2 July 2022
Hastings Museum 9 July to 4 September 2022
Exhibition available 10 September to 29 October 2022
Harley Gallery, Worksop 5 November to 21 January 2023 TBC
Exhibition available From 28 January 2023 onwards

More Images of Work by Jason Wilsher-Mills

Jason and his Argonaut