About Jason Wilsher-Mills: Jason and his Argonauts in Love
Jason Wilsher-Mills uses iPads and Wacom tablets to create bright, celebratory and poignant works exploring themes of disability. His digital drawings are then translated into huge inflatable works or human-sized fibreglass sculptures. Colourful and bold, his works are acts of activism that are visually captivating and use their joyfulness to begin serious conversations.
The works on display at YSP were made in collaboration with learning-disabled groups across the country. Their stories are intertwined with the artist’s own across the surfaces of the sculptures, told through words and pictures.
The central work was a 10-metre-long inflatable addressing basic human rights and respect, centred on access to Changing Places Toilets. Visitors were able to pass through a tunnel within the sculpture and read words from those with lived experience that convey the importance of this campaign. Wilsher-Mills highlights how, if we are to understand one other fully, we must acknowledge hierarchical systems of access and rights that are still not equal for everyone. The inflatable work was removed on 4 September 2022.
The artists’ figures are covered with tattoo-like adornments, and frequently the word ‘love’. This acts a way to convey personal narratives and stems from the time when Wilsher-Mills was paralysed from the neck down as a child; his mum would paint on his face as this was something he could feel. For Wilsher-Mills these tattoos also connect with his background in a northern working-class family, where love was felt, though not necessarily stated in words, and often only found expression when inked into the skin.
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