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Amazonian Caiman God


Amazonian Caiman God
Photo Credit: @c.fphotography_


Jason Wilsher-Mills presents a new 6.5-foot bronze sculpture that in part explores his own personal connection to nearby Walton Hall, the former home of Charles Waterton, at which his parents met while his mother was working there as an auxiliary nurse.

Wilsher-Mills’ sculpture depicts an Amazonian Caiman God holding a small ferry boat containing figures of his parents. The figure is wearing leg callipers as a proud depiction of disability and a nod to the artist’s own experience of debilitating chicken pox in childhood that left him partially paralysed. Visitors are able to engage further with the sculpture through augmented reality technology and able to listen to a new poem by poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan, created in response to the sculpture’s themes, as well as access an online animated film.

“I was born and grew up in Wakefield. This sculpture is inspired by the history of Wakefield and its characters as well as my own memories and the love story of my parents. My mum spent most of her childhood in care and worked as an auxiliary nurse at Walton Hall 1945-48, which was then the maternity home for Wakefield. My Dad, Peter, was a rugby league player and coal miner. Mum would often return home late from their dates and have to bribe the night watchman to row her back to Walton Hall after the drawbridge was pulled up at 9pm.” – Jason Wilsher-Mills

This is a unique artwork about and for Wakefield and its people. Jason designed the sculpture on a computer and it was 3D printed in resin by Pangolin foundry. The resin version was then cast in bronze, one of the most traditional sculpture materials in the world.


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The Wakefield district is one of Yorkshire’s leading cultural destinations. The city is known especially for sculpture, being the birthplace of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. It is the only city outside London to have two Art Fund Museums of the Year: The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Amazonian Caiman God is part of a series of sculptures for the city, commissioned in 2023. The series offers a unique opportunity for everyone to experience and enjoy world-class art. Each artist has created a work especially for the place, its history and communities.

Wakefield Sculpture Trail


Jason was paralysed by the chickenpox virus when he was 11. His mum used to paint on his face, the only part of his body he could feel then, an act of love and compassion. This is partly why his artworks have such detailed surfaces.

Jason Wilsher-Mills discusses Amazonian Caiman God

Waterton Light

Irene remembers the light,
The light through those High Waterton windows
On long afternoons.
The lights that night
She made her escape,
Like you make something real.

Before the escape
There was the darkness
Of the closed doors, the closed curtains
The darkness of the crying of NO
That was ignored. The lost coin of hope
Rolling away into the gloom.

And here she is now;
In that high light, the skylight light
Of her life.
Waterton Hall: sometimes it felt
Like a palace made of light
Like you make something unreal.

In the little room
She shared with Maria
They told each other stories
In the light of their closeness.
Tales of their journeys
And of their arrivals.

And here is Irene, with Peter,
Her special boyfriend
Lit by the glow of a cinema screen
Holding hands as the action
Flies into the darkness
And lights their kissing faces.

And here is the illumination
Of the last bus
Receding into the distance
Its red rear lights fading

And so the lovers walked
And in the light of their walking
In the light of their talking
The moon held hands with the clouds.

But the drawbridge to the hall was up
Rising to the moonlit sky
To the skylit sky
Lighting the tears
On Irene’s face.

And now,
Almost impossibly
As though this is a story
Here comes a boat
Lit by waterlight,
By watertight waterlight
By Waterton waterlight

And here is a penny
Found somewhere in history
Somewhere in this story
It shines like the moon
And here is the penny
The bright currency of hope
Memory’s coinage
Change from a pocket
Change from the past
The coin is held up like a medal
Awarded to Irene
For the life she is leaving
And the life she is finding

The coin pays for the boat
And here comes Charles Waterton
Of Waterton Hall
Down the Amazon
As though lit
By the light you get in films
And here are Irene and Peter
Lit by the light of love

And there is Maria
At the lit window
And here is Waterton
And here is Irene
And here is Peter
And here is Maria
And here is the coin
Lit like a star.

Waterton Light Video

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