From Waste to Wall exhibition to launch at Edinburgh's Image Collective Gallery next week

A young artist hopes his new exhibition will not only inspire people to recycle and care for the environment but also to think less about appearances and more about substance.
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Multi award-winning artist James Owen Thomas is bringing his ‘From Waste to Wall’ exhibition to Edinburgh, and it will debut at the capital’s Image Collective Gallery next week.

The artworks included in the show have been created using unwanted single-use products such as discarded lottery tickets. James hopes to show through his work that something beautiful can be created from items that other people would see as ugly or useless.

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The North Yorkshire artist was diagnosed with autism at the age of three and hopes to show his condition in a new light – as a different kind of ability rather than a disability.

James Owen Thomas' Reconnecting with NatureJames Owen Thomas' Reconnecting with Nature
James Owen Thomas' Reconnecting with Nature

But the climate-conscious 21-year-old is also keen to send an important message about caring for the planet.

He said: “By creating collages from thousands of tiny pieces of discarded materials, I aim to make a positive statement about recycling.

“I have been exhibiting my unique style of environmental art since the age of 15 and I’m delighted to be displaying my art for the first time in Scotland this summer.”

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The exhibition is being brought to Edinburgh thanks to the Image Collective Gallery owner, Sara Thomson, who first met James when they were both selected by PM Boris Johnson to become a COP26 One Step Greener Ambassador in 2021.

Explaining her appreciation of James’ work, Sara said; “When I saw James’ work I was immediately struck by how intricate and beautiful each collage is.

“I was also moved by the powerful message he is putting out there – the idea that we need to change our attitudes, behaviour, perceptions, and perspectives if we’re going to save the planet.”

The exhibition opens to the public on Tuesday, August 2 at the Image Collective Gallery and runs until Friday, September 30.

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The exhibition is free to visitors, who will also have the chance to watch James Own Thomas work on a live piece of art. He will be there from 10am until 3pm on the first day of the exhibition and all are welcome to watch and meet the artist.