A Totem for Hull
Jason Wilsher-Mills


Disabled artist Jason Wilsher-Mills will spend the first part of 2019 working with disabled people from a range of groups and organisations in Hull. Jason will collaborate with them in a creative partnership to inform his design of a final large-scale sculpture exploring the representation of disability in the city. This will then go on permanent display outside the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull. The sculpture will use augmented reality apps which will unlock animations, text, music & audio, giving a voice to those in the community who do not have one. Workshops about the project will begin early in 2019 with a planned unveiling event for the final work in July 2019 on the university campus.

Born in Wakefield and based in Sleaford, Lincs, Jason is pleased to be working in Hull again after being part of its UK City of Culture year through his Square Peg residency at Artlink Hull in 2017. Outcomes from this residency have been displayed as far afield as Tate Modern, London and Eureka! Halifax. A Totem for Hull is a legacy of his work in the city and will be delivered in partnership with Artlink Hull, the University of Hull, Hot Knife Media and a range of disability focused organisations.

A Totem for Hull is supported by Arts Council England, Hull City Council Arts and the University of Hull.

Jason says of the project: “Whilst working with Artlink Hull, as part of the Square Peg Residency in 2017, I said that I felt it was important to not say goodbye when working with disabled groups. Through this opportunity I have been able to ensure that a legacy is delivered and that I am able to work with those groups again, and offer further opportunities to other organisations. We can tell the hidden stories of the disabled communities of Hull, in a truly unique and ground-breaking manner, through focussed workshops, sculpture, digital art and grounbreaking technology. I am incredibly proud and honoured that the sculpture will have a home outside the Brynmor Jones Library, on the University of Hull campus, as it will be a highly visible, positive representation of disability, which will have the DNA of Hull within its construction”

A Totem for Hull pictured in situ  

Jason Wilsher-Mills
Jason Wilsher-Mills is a disabled artist. He was born in Wakefield and now resides in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. Jason trained at The Cardiff Institute of Higher Education, where he attained a B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art. In recent years Jason has been exhibited at and commissioned by The National Centre for Craft and Design, the V&A, Tate Modern, Eureka!, The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha and the Houses of Parliament among other international venues.

After initially specialising in traditional painting techniques, Jason has in recent years focused on digital work 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.

Major themes that consistently run throughout Jason’s work include his experience as a disabled person and the struggles he has endured through illness since childhood up until the present day, trying to translate his daily experiences and challenges to the audience. A major aspect of his work also focuses on the treatment and perception of disability and disabled people in society, as well as social history and the democratic process.


Artlink Hull
Artlink Hull supports the creation and exploration of art with, in, and about communities. In particular, we work with individuals and communities experiencing disadvantage to increase the diversity of voices in the arts. We do this through art commissions, projects, exhibitions, events, learning programmes, and forums, working with a range of communities. Since our establishment in 1982, Artlink Hull has been continually involved in the development of community, participatory and socially-engaged art practices and remains a key organisation in the Humber region within these fields.

University of Hull Culture Campus
The Culture Campus Office enables and facilitates the creative exchange between the University of Hull and its surroundings. Connecting academics, students, research and venues with artists, communities, practitioners and established arts organisations, Culture Campus enables the creation of new innovative work that has research and academic expertise at its heart. Culture Campus supports the student experience by offering active participation in the development and curation of the programme, working with faculties to embed creative projects in the curriculum and through our cultural partnerships provide opportunities to explore creative careers. Culture Campus creates opportunities to welcome, speak to and learn from audiences from all walks of life. Our aim is to integrate the University’s cultural programme into the fabric of the city and make the campus a place of cultural exchange, creation and opportunity.

Hot Knife Digital Media
Hot Knife Digital Media is a design studio with expertise in designing and delivering 2D & 3D animation, video production and virtual or augmented reality applications. Formed in 1992 and based in Nottingham, we have 25 years of experience producing creative content and brand across a range of industries. We have worked on high profile projects with Lincoln Cathedral and Nottingham Castle, and have developed augmented reality experiences for Jason Wilsher-Mills, bringing his sculptures to life.

Thanks To Our Main Funders

Arts Council Hull City Council