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Exhibition aims to spark conversations on disability

Posted onPosted on 18th Dec

A new art exhibition in Mansfield Museum showcases work created by internationally-acclaimed disabled artist Jason Wilsher-Mills.

Jason And His Argonauts has involved the artist working with disabled communities around the UK to design new works that explore themes of disability.

The exhibition, which runs until 9th March, features sculptures, giant inflatables, lightbox digital paintings, and ornate wallpaper.

Visitors can download a free augmented reality app to fully interact with the exhibition.

Centrepiece of the exhibition is Jason’s most ambitious work so far — a 10m inflatable sculpture designed so that visitors can walk through it and interact with images inside the ‘tunnel’, which has been scanned digitally to feature in Jason’s augmented-reality universe.

The giant sculpture relates people’s stories from the Changing Places movement, a campaign calling for fully-accessible toilets for disabled adults and children to be installed in all large public venues throughout the UK.

The facilities feature a height-adjustable adult changing bench, ceiling track hoist, peninsular toilet with space for two assistants, and privacy screen along with practical items such as wide paper rolls, a large waste disposal bin, a backrest on the toilet seat, and a height-adjustable wash basin.

Mansfield mayor Andy Abrahams, who officially opened the exhibition, said: “It is exciting, thought-provoking, and suitable for all ages, with plenty of bright colours and interactive features.

“It is completely free to view and the museum is very accessible for wheelchair users. I hope his work could be an inspiration for disabled people to create art themselves.

“It is fantastic for Mansfield that we have artists of Jason’s international stature exhibiting here and this has only been possible due to Arts Council England funding.”

At the opening, the mayor met three young people with disabilities who are working at the museum.

Abby Storer is on a supported internship from Portland College, Harry Wynn is on a supported work placement from West Notts College, and Ellie Overton is on Mansfield District Council’s Better by Change project — a National Lottery-funded scheme that aims to improve the representation of disability in cultural services.

She is one of five employees with disabilities being enrolled by the authority on a 12-month fixed-term contract.

The council is creating two Changing Places, in Mansfield Museum and the Four Seasons Shopping Centre.