Since I last updated my blog it’s been a most hectic and frantic time, with me completing the 60-metre mural with Wakefield Wildcats Community Trust – Artist in Residence Project and working with Northumbria University, Culture Lab, on a digital original project, which will be launched via crowd funding. I will give more information about this nearer the time of the launch.

 

As well as working on the crowd-funding project with Culture lab, they also took me to Munich, to the MobileHCI 2013 conference. I painted, using the iPad, projected onto a wall – see pic here.

 

The week after this amazing mini adventure I was invited to paint on stage at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, in Newcastle – see pics.

 

I am presently working with the Art House Wakefield to get the Wakefield Wildcats Community Trust mural up at the stadium and throughout Wakefield also. I will try and give regular posts on this.

 

I am also preparing for 2 wonderful projects with schools in Wakefield and Barnsley. Please see info below about the Ossett Schools Community Trust Project, ‘Not too shoddy.’

 

Not Too Shoddy.

 

After delivering iPad workshops in Ossett schools in 2012-13, the schools approached the artist, Jason Wilsher-Mills, to work with their pupils on a community art project, which would see them engage with both digital art, and the fact that the pupils, who presently attend the schools, have no idea about the industrial heritage, for which the town of Ossett is famous. This being the cotton mills, and those mills, which recycled cloth to form ‘shoddy’, hence the title of the project. (The term shoddy refers to the cheap recycled cloth and actually originated from Ossett)

 

Initially the idea is to enable the children to interview ex-mill workers/older members of the community and then create artwork based on these interviews. Rather than use traditional art methods they will use ipads to make art on, these images will then be developed further to create a final piece of community art.

 

Of particular influence will be the union banners, which were used to promote the union and also to record the history of the industry, and the town’s unique coat of arms. It will be a unique opportunity to revisit this beautiful form of art, through the eyes of children.

 

We are hoping to celebrate the project through a series of public events, which will ultimately result in a public display of digital art, where images created throughout the project will be projected onto the schools themselves.

 

It is hoped we can change the building, through the magic of digital equipment, so that the building will ‘evolve’ into a working mill.

 

The project developed because the Jason had worked with the schools previously and due to the fact they were shocked and surprised as to just how many of their pupils had no idea about the industrial heritage of their home, and indeed were surprised to find out that there were mills, within walking distance of where there schools now stand.

 

It is a wonderful opportunity to unlock the stories hidden within families, and greater community, about their role in the industry and will give the children an opportunity to explore their shared industrial heritage, through the means of research, interviews and making art in this new and original new manner.

 

Working with the artist, Jason Wilsher-Mills, they will use the Brushes App to create digital paintings, which will then be edited into one piece of community art, which will serve as a tribute to the industrial and social heritage.

 

Jason Wilsher-Mills has a proven track record of working with schools on successful community art projects, funded by Arts Council England, having worked with over 6000 children on 2 prestigious residencies with the National centre for Craft & Design, in the East Midland town of Sleaford, and with Wakefield Wildcats Community Trust, which saw the artist making a truly ground-breaking piece of art, using ipads to bring over 3000 individual images together to form a 60 metre mural.

 

Through previous Arts Council England funding Jason has been able to purchase 34 iPads, plus cutting edge IT equipment, which many schools do not possess.

 

Jason is a registered centre for the Arts Award, so through the residency he will be delivering the nationally recognised qualification through the project.

 

He was born and raised in Ossett and is the son of a mill worker, which is another reason why this will be an interesting approach to the project, given that his work is primarily about his disability, his cultural heritage and his memories of growing up in Yorkshire. He is a full time wheelchair user, so again this demonstrates the innovation of the project.

 

The artist has shown his work around the world at prestigious art galleries such as the Baltic and Cork Street Gallery.

 

The timescale for the project is for October-March2014, but this may change depending on the funding process with Arts Council England, etc.

 

How you can help

 

We need letters of support for the Arts Council England Grant for Arts application, but we also need any funding through sponsorship that your organisation can give, or help us to access. This project is truly ground-breaking, because it will feature a world renowned artist, who has a disability, who make work about memories of his own cultural heritage, but no longer lives in the area, who has now returned to work with the very schools he attended.

 

This is an opportunity to do something, which has not been even attempted before, so we would welcome any support you can give.

 

Jason Wilsher-Mills – Digital Artist