Work by environmental artist features in exhibition at The Station

An exhibition featuring work by a young environmental artist is currently running at The Station in Richmond.

After an early diagnosis of autism, James Owen Thomas was eventually able to overcome problems of communication with the help of pictures.

Now, through his own artwork, he highlights the damaging effects of single-use products on the environment, by turning the waste discarded by others into his medium for expression.

A former student of Bradford School of Art, James became inspired by the pointillist movement as well as a range of artists including David Hockney, Van Gogh and Seurat.

James said: “I feel proud and delighted to have this opportunity to exhibit my art under the banner of Swaledale Festival.”

The colourful collages are on display until June 17.

“I have been referred to as an artist with a different vision and an innovative way of working as I prefer to use materials that people would normally just throw away.

“The techniques I use are to collage layers and layers of torn, cut or hole-punched pieces of paper onto the surface until I’m happy I’ve achieved the right effect.

“I use discarded scratch cards in my artwork because to me, these colourful symbols of lost hopes and dreams can be transferred and have meaning again in my artwork.

“Depending on the project, I do incorporate other recycled materials into my artwork.

“In 2019 I was commissioned by Pontefract Races to create four pieces of artwork using their old race day tickets and badges.”

Swaledale Festival artistic director, Malcolm Creese, said: “Visitors to James’ exhibition will appreciate the environmental aspect of his work and his ability to turn unwanted material into something creative and unique.

“James’ art carries an important message, and at the same time it is truly inspiring and thought provoking.”