Digital artist Jason Wilsher Mills has worked with Shape on several occasions, including being artist in residence at the Shape Gallery. This gave him the confidence to successfully apply for a Parliament commission, and the opportunity to have his art exhibited in Qatar.

As part of 'The Beginnings of that Freedome' exhibition, and the Parliament in the Making programme of events, Jason created two banners. Find out more about the commission by clicking here to see our blog post. In the video above he discusses his banner exploring the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act.

Artist Jason Wilsher-Mills at work in his studio

Jason was also recently interviewed by BBC Look North. In the video (link below) he discusses his art being selected to be shown as part of a disability-focussed conference in Qatar by Sheikha Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, sister of the Emir of Qatar and one of the most powerful figures in the art world.

Watch by clicking here.

Jason explains his relationship with Shape:

"Since becoming a full time artist four years ago, Shape Arts has played a pivotal role in both my personal and professional development, whether it be through opportunities in entering my work into exhibitions, which I did regularly at the start of my career, to the fact that they have always been there to help and offer guidance as my career grew and developed. Sometimes success is as scary as struggling is, so Shape have always been there as a source of comfort and constructive advice, offering solutions and options when dealing with the trials of a burgeoning artistic career. One of Jason's two banners hanging inside the Parliament building

Last year, Shape and The Legacy List offered me the opportunity to deliver a residency at the Westfield Stratford Gallery, and it was at this time I was lucky enough to be shortlisted for a commission at House of Parliament 2015 banner exhibition. I was interviewed at Parliament and had to talk about how I would tackle the subject of one of the proposed banners, the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act.

I feel that the residency with Shape gave me the confidence and the skills needed to be in the position of even being considered for the commission. 

I was of course successful with my bid, and was offered two commissions by Parliament, which I worked on between September and December 2014. It was a difficult process as I was working under some very strict guidance. 

As artists, we are masters of our own universe. We create without worrying too much about what others think and not having to justify everything we do, as the act of creation is a private one, with the artist making all the decisions. With this wonderful commission all of that went out of the window, as it was clear that I had to create work that would be non partisan. However, even though at the beginning of the process I felt a little bit affronted that my artistic vision was being tested, this soon changed, and I have to ultimately admit that in these two banners I think I have created two of the most original pieces of art I have ever produced.

Now the banners have been unveiled at Parliament, Shape are again supporting me through opportunities with the British Council and a residency in Qatar.

I cannot express my gratitude to the team at Shape Arts, who have worked tirelessly on my behalf and had the vision to offer me opportunities which have enabled me to continue in my upward spiral as a professional artist. 

I look forward to the future, and know that Shape will be part of my career, through good advice and amazing opportunities."

Find out more about Jason's work here:

Images from top to bottom:

Jason at work in his studio, taken from the BBC interview available at the link in this section.

'1995 Disability Discrimination Act' banner, created by Jason Wilsher Mills. Image courtesy of Parliament UK.