Jason Wilsher-Mills

Artist

Visual Arts, Fashion and Design

In the past 15 years I have worked with over 55,000 adults, young people, and children, specialising in working with those who have disabilities. This has been my ‘Jason and his Argonauts’ mission and has seen me teaching digital art skills and collecting stories from these communities, which I then made into vibrant public art sculptures. I did not give them a voice, they gave me my voice as an artist.

I have exhibited my work around the world, including the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, the Houses of Parliament, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, V&A, and Folkestone Triennial. I have created inflatable public art sculptures, based on the theme of changing places toilets, which has seen museums and galleries invest in fully accessible disabled toilets, as a direct result of showing the work at their venues.

In 2020 I was awarded the prestigious Adam Reynolds Award by SHAPE Arts, and in 2021 I won the Midlands round of the SKY Arts Landmark programme, for making public art, with disabled communities in Corby, Northamptonshire.

In 2022 I was commissioned to create my first bronze sculpture, which will be on permanent display in Wakefield City Centre, in West Yorkshire. I am incredibly proud of this, as firstly it is my hometown, and secondly the work clearly depicts a disabled person. To have this work on display there is my proudest moment, as it also serves as a tribute to carers and my working-class upbringing.

In April 2023 I took my Argonauts approach to working with communities with disabilities, to Japan. This was a huge logistical challenge, but it was worth it to make new art alongside and mentor Japanese artists with disabilities. I created a huge inflatable sculpture, which will be exhibited in both the UK and Japan, throughout August 2023.

“I am so proud to be featured alongside those I consider to be my heroes, who have inspired me to use my authentic voice as a disabled artist to challenge many of the issues that disabled people face. It is humbling that a lad from the council estates of Wakefield, who was told as a child that I would not amount to much, is simply wonderful.”

Jason Wilsher-Mills with Andy Turnham at Peoples History Museum - with Jason's sculpture 'The Manchester Argonaut'

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Disability Power 100 2023 profile information has been self-submitted by the profile subject. Shaw Trust understands and respects that disability and impairment descriptors and language use varies from person to person. Shaw Trust assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or discrepancies in the content of this, or any other, profile page.

Image credits: Steve Bullock; Jason Wilsher-Mills

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