Pateley Bridge artist says ‘my art is making a positive statement’
Last updated Nov 26, 2020
Artist James Owen Thomas
Artist, James Owen Thomas with a selection of his art.

A young artist from Pateley Bridge has used lockdown to find new inspiration in the outdoors much closer to home .. his garden.

James Owen Thomas, who has autism, uses disused materials such as scratchcards and ring pulls to create art with a message.

He likes to express emotion in his pieces, whether it is through the beauty of the outdoors or the importance of recycling.

After finishing a two-year art course at the Bradford School of Art, James is now studying a business and computer course in Harrogate. He hopes his new skills will allow him to improve his art blog and use his social media for business use.

Artist James Owen Thomas

James uses household objects such as scratch cards to create art.

During lockdown, James wasn’t able to travel far to find his inspiration and found himself looking out of his window more often. He said:

“Looking out of my window at home at our cherry tree I knew that it would soon be in blossom as spring was on its way. I decided to create a collage involving the tree with materials I already had at home that could be recycled.

“I feel that the covid situation has led to more people appreciating nature whether in gardens, parks or the countryside.”


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His cherry tree in blossom project is part of a collaboration with Caudwell Children, a charity that helps disabled children.

James wanted to give back to the charity that helped him when he was first diagnosed with autism, aged three.

Art and pictures have played an important part in his life and more-so during this time of isolation. He added:

“As a small child I liked nothing more than being taken to art galleries. I also enjoyed collecting litter in parks and playgrounds and disposing of it correctly. Perhaps this is how my interest in recycling and collage art started.

“My artwork is also therapeutic and I include everything important to me in my ideas for collage – nature, places I have visited and special occasions.”

Art by James Owen Thomas

Another example of James’ work.

He says he will continue showing in a different light items that other people throw away.

“What I am proving is that art isn’t what it’s made from, but what it has become.  My art is making a positive statement about recycling.”

“People have said it’s amazing how something as disposable as scratchcards can be turned into such beautiful works of art.”

To visit James’ website, click here.


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