Artist nominated for major National Lottery award

An artist from Sleaford who found an innovative way of displaying his artwork when self-isolation hit, is in line for recognition after being nominated for a 2021 National Lottery Award.

Jason Wilsher-Mill's inflatable sculptures. EMN-211207-193154001
Jason Wilsher-Mill's inflatable sculptures. EMN-211207-193154001

Disabled artist Jason Wilsher-Mills has been shortlisted in the Art, Film and Culture category for not only his art, but his work in advocating for the benefit that technology has in the support of disability.

2020 was set to be a big breakthrough year for Jason who was due to show his National Lottery funded work at national and international events including The Tate and Folkstone Triennale after winning the prestigious Adam Reynolds Award 2020, from SHAPE Arts. Instead he improvised - with spectacular success - by innovating online and showing his giant inflatable sculptures in his back garden on a housing estate in Sleaford, to the joy of his neighbours and wider community.

During this period Jason has also been able to share his learning by representing the UK online at international events to advocate for the benefit that technology has in support of disability. Jason has also worked with special schools and learning disabled groups to provide exciting art classes to help teachers (and parents) with home-schooling during the pandemic.

Jason Wilsher-Mill's inflatable sculptures. EMN-211207-193205001

The National Lottery Awards are the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery funded people and projects and they celebrate the inspirational individuals and groups who do extraordinary things in their community especially during these challenging times.

This year, more than 1,500 people were nominated for the work they have carried out with the help of National Lottery funding.

Next month a panel, made up of representatives of The National Lottery and partners, will decide the winners in each category from a shortlist of five.

Winners will be revealed in the autumn and will receive a £3,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.

Jason said, “I’m so honoured to be a finalist in the National Lottery Awards 2021. The funding has allowed me to do so much with my work which in turn has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t necessarily have had before. But more importantly, I’ve been able to demonstrate on a wider scale, the benefit that technology has in support of disability and I’m so grateful for that.”

In September a public vote will be held to find The National Lottery Project of the Year, while online polls will take place after the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to determine the winner of The National Lottery Olympian and Paralympian awards.