I Am Argonaut
Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021
In recent years Jason Wilsher-Mills has 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 sculptures and augmented reality experiences, despite the physical challenges presented by his disability.
For Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021 the artist has drawn on his experience as a disabled artist to create a contemporary figurative sculpture (monumental in ambition but relatively intimate in size) – I Am Argonaut – to be placed ‘in conversation’ with the monumental statue of William Harvey, son of the Mayor of Folkestone, Royal Physician and discoverer of the circulation of the blood. This dialogue has a very particular and personal significance for Jason, since his disabilities have been caused by a disease of the blood in his childhood. For him it has been an opportunity to pay his respects to a great scientist whose studies paved the way for some of the great advances of modern medicine.
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.
Jason has exhibited and been commissioned by The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar and the Houses of Parliament among other international venues.
Artist Audio Interview
Jason Wilsher-Mills, I Am Argonaut, Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021 and produced by Shape Arts as part of the Adam Reynolds Award. Photo by Thierry Bal
Film by Oliver Parkin. Drone footage by Tom Bishop Photography