History museum

New sculpture The Manchester Argonaut on display at the People’s History Museum

A new sculpture by internationally renowned artist Jason Wilsher-Mills is about to go on display at the Museum of People’s History to mark the start of its new program exploring the history of disability rights and activism.

The Manchester Argonaut is a visual feast that explodes with bright colors, intricate designs, bold tattoos and fantastical accessories.

He inspires you with his creativity and makes you discover his message on activism and the rights of people with disabilities.

Image courtesy of the People’s History Museum

Because it’s The Manchester Argonaut, it also draws inspiration from the city’s history, symbolism and music; he even takes his distinctive position as Ian Curtis (Joy Division) to celebrate his work on behalf of people with disabilities.

“The Manchester Argonaut is a positive and authentic representation of disability activism and rights, which are sometimes overlooked by those who see the cost of everything but the value of nothing, including human lives,” said said Jason.

“It is fitting that it is first displayed at the People’s History Museum as a place of activism and where ideas worth fighting for are championed.”

Image courtesy of the People’s History Museum

One of the first visitors to see the sculpture was Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester.

“It was a privilege to meet Jason and see some of his amazing work and how he conveys messages of activism in his art,” he said.

“You can’t help but be uplifted by The Manchester Argonaut, which is full of references to Manchester music and history and also boldly represents disability activism.”

Image courtesy of the People’s History Museum

A number of community groups contributed to the creative process which led to the development of ideas for The Manchester Argonaut as part of a project funded by Arts Council England. Workshops have been held with Venture Arts, Teamwork Trust, Oakley Grange, Starlight Arts, St Hugh’s School and 20-21 Visual Arts Centre.

This is not Jason’s first Argonaut – so called because he was named after Jason of Jason and the Argonauts – with the collection of his spectacular figures growing and having been exhibited in galleries and sculpture parks across the country.

The Manchester Argonaut will be on display from Saturday July 16, 2022 to Sunday January 28, 2024 at the Museum of Popular History.