James Owen Thomas, age 21 is an award-winning environmental artist from North Yorkshire who turns unwanted material into something creative and unique.  His artwork has been called "truly inspiring and thought provoking" and people have described him as "an artist with a different vision and innovative way of working".  James’ art is highlighting issues of the environment and single use products as he turns things discarded by others into a medium for expression.


James is also a Tree Council Ambassador who became a COP26 One Step Greener Ambassador in 2021 when he received an invitation to Downing Street and to COP26 Glasgow.  A letter from the Prime Minister recognises James' artwork in relation to COP26 and to all the fundraising James has done through his artwork (including recently raising £20,000 for the Caudwell Children's Charity).


James says, “In the seven years that I have been creating my collages from thousands of tiny pieces of discarded National Lottery scratch cards and other recycled materials, it is good to know that I have given people pleasure when they see my art exhibitions.  Visitors are amazed that I can produce art from what most consider to be just rubbish and how I am making a positive statement about recycling.  I have been able to develop my own unique style of environmental art, which I have been exhibiting since the age of fifteen and I’m delighted this year to be displaying my art for the first time in Scotland!”


With a diagnosis of autism at the age of 3 ½ years, pictures used to play an important part in James’ life as a means of communication and expression.  A former student of Bradford School of Art, James concentrates full-time on his art practice.  He continues to inspire others with talks about his environmental art and how his autism became less of a disability and more of a development into a different kind of ability.


James receives private and corporate commissions for his artwork.