‘Unexpected Engagement’ is the first solo show by artist Jason Wilsher-Mills. The work was created during Jason’s Square Peg Residency with Artlink Hull during UK City of Culture 2017.
The residency was an opportunity for an artist who identifies as disabled to work with Artlink throughout the year, responding to the Square Peg programme and Hull in general. Jason’s approach, inspired by his long history of working with communities, was to engage a wide range of different people in Hull in a series of workshops, to enable them to tell their own stories through art. This in turn has influenced the creation of his own work for the exhibition.
This residency has inspired a whole new collection of multi-media work by Jason that can be viewed and interacted with in the exhibition. It includes characters such as ‘East Hull Elvis’, ‘The X-Factor Princess’, and ‘Mario Lanza and the Stolen Hedge Trimmer’. Artworks in the exhibition will include digitally painted wallpaper, sculpture-including augmented reality, 3D printed figures, and images in vibrant lightboxes.
Jason says: “The Square Peg Residency enabled me to engage with individuals from diverse communities in Hull. Through the workshops participants felt able to share their own unique stories with me, which ultimately demonstrated that everyone has a story to tell, it’s just that sometimes we don’t have time to listen or hear them. Although sometimes stories were sad, or difficult to hear, there was always humour and hope there. These stories have inspired me to create new work which hopefully serves as a tribute to those engaged with throughout the residency.”
Preview: January 11, 6-8 PM
Artist Talk: 10th March 1-3pm @ Artlink, to book your place click here.
Jason Wilsher-Mills was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire in 1969 but now resides in Sleaford Lincolnshire. Jason trained at The Cardiff Institute of Higher Education, where he attained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. In recent years Jason has been exhibited at and commissioned by The National Centre for Craft and Design (NCCD), The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar and the Houses of Parliament among other international venues.
After studying Fine Art at The Cardiff Institute of Higher Education and initially specialising in traditional painting techniques, Jason has in recent years focused on using digital painting using technology such as iPad and Wacom tablets. The use of these technologies in place of the more traditional artistic mediums came about through the convenience and accessibility of tablets which allow him to produce large scale, detailed paintings despite the physical challenges presented by his disability. Through recently ‘embracing the pixal’ Jason has begun to produce work in the form of Light boxes, 3D prints, sculpture and augmented reality.