A female support worker assists a female participant with an iPad

Jason Wilsher-Mills creates A Totem for Hull

Artlink has been working with disabled artist Jason Wilsher-Mills, to develop Jason’s first ever permanent public artwork, to be unveiled on the University of Hull’s campus by the League of Gentlemen’s Reece Shearsmith on 28th June 2019. Jason’s tells us how the project is progressing and how he’s been working with disabled people in Hull to develop the artwork:

“My A Totem for Hull project started in January 2019 with me delivering workshops with a range of disability groups and organisations including Ganton School, Danny’s Dream, University of Hull, Loud Mouths at KIDS and 5Senses. In each session I have encouraged participants to create a piece of digital artwork that reflects their hope & aspirations. So far this has included playing Rugby league for Hull FC and Kingston Rovers, cooking, playing drums, even riding a shark and being a princess. The artwork created in these workshops has influenced the augmented reality experience that will form part of my final sculpture, which I am presently working on with Hot Knife Digital Media. So along with a beautiful sculpture, you can expect to see some Hull luminaries and some of the participants’ artwork and interviews brought to life, using cutting edge technology and art to do so. The workshops have been full of laughter and energy, with many participants sharing stories which has been incredibly rewarding.

[Image description: An older man uses an iPad to take a photograph of two other gentlemen sat opposite him.]

[Image description: A female participant experiments with colour on a drawing app on the iPad.]

[Image description: A female support worker assists a participant with using the iPad.]

The BBC have been following the project and filming workshops and creation of the sculpture, at Kevin Harlow’s studio in Leeds. This will be broadcast after the unveiling ceremony at the University of Hull on Friday 28th June. The project has already garnered much interest from the community and media in Hull, which has led to Hull born actor, Reece Shearsmith, to volunteer his services to conduct the unveiling. Reece is a particular hero of mine, having been a fan of his work with The League of Gentlemen for many years.

Being commissioned to create a new sculpture, for such an illustrious venue as the University of Hull, developed with some of the disabled communities of Hull is an absolute honour. To have a sculpture, at such a high profile venue, which celebrates disability, is a great honour also. It makes me smile when I consider what the poet, Philip Larkin, would make of my sculpture situated outside the library he designed on the campus. I have really bonded with some of the people I have worked with and feel that there is even more stories out there in Hull to be explored. Also as a disabled artist, I have really benefitted from the support and help from the team at Artlink Hull. Long may it continue.”

Thanks To Our Main Funders

Arts Council Hull City Council