Saturday 29th May - Wednesday 16th June 2021
Twenty-year-old James Owen Thomas always preferred to see litter in bins rather than it spoiling the countryside, town centres and seashore. He realised that some litter could be recycled, and soon found a use for discarded lottery scratch cards - making them into intricate and highly coloured pictures and greetings cards.
Dales-based James, who was diagnosed with autism as a child and was unable to speak until he was five, highlights issues about the environment and single-use products by turning things discarded by others into a medium for expression. As well as scratch cards, James has worked with old tickets, leaflets, product packaging and fabrics that can be recycled into commissioned art pieces.
James says: “What I do could be termed Environmental Art. If it can encourage and inspire people to re-use and recycle, then hopefully we can look forward to a more environmentally-friendly future.”
James’s stunning creations are attracting much attention in the art world and in the media these days. In October 2019 he was presented with a ‘Britain in Bloom Young Champion Award’ by the Royal Horticultural Society in London. James has received several prestigious commissions and his future as a professional artist is assured.
Swaledale Festival is delighted to present this exhibition as part of its Young Artists Platform.