Coronavirus: Sleaford disabled artist works in new ways

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image captionJason Wilsher-Mills has described his work as being somewhere between The Beano and I, Daniel Blake

A disabled artist has found new ways to work while self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jason Wilsher-Mills had been due to show his work at the Tate after winning the equivalent of the Turner Prize for disabled artists.

He said the pandemic left him feeling like a "sitting duck" and forced him to find new ways of making art.

The artist has now put up giant inflatable sculptures in the back garden of his home in Sleaford.

"Initially, I was frightened and depressed and worrying about money and what I could do," Mr Wilsher-Mills said.

"What I could do was carry on working - art for me isn't a job, it's what I do, it's as important as breathing."

image captionIn recent years, Mr Wilsher-Mills has focused on digital painting using tablet technology

Mr Wilsher-Mills, who uses a wheelchair, uses iPads to create art reflecting his life as a disabled person.

He has exhibited his work across the UK and in Australia and this year he received the prestigious Adam Reynolds Award.

For the last 11 weeks, he has been shielding due to his health condition which he describes as "my immune system gone awry".

He had to stop drawing during this time, because of pain in his hands caused by damaged tendons, and started to make films instead.

Mr Wilsher-Mills said that "fear went into my work matched with the joy of being alive".

image captionMr Wilsher-Mills said he wanted to find a way to share his work despite the coronavirus crisis

In the past, Mr Wilsher-Mills's work has been turned into sculptures which are then brought to life using augmented reality technology.

He has recently been testing out his latest collaborative work in the garden of his home.

Mr Wilsher-Mills said: "God knows what the neighbours think, hopefully it made them smile and think 'we live next door to a lunatic'."

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