Young artist raises £20,000

Former Nidderdale High pupil James Owen Thomas has seen his commissioned work auctioned at a star-studded ball to help raise £20,000 for charity.

The artist, also know as JOT was tasked to produce an ambitious new work that depicts the 20-year history of Caudwell Children, which he was a beneficiary of.

James said: “Caudwell Children commissioning my art, along with being photographed on the red carpet, must be one of the most memorable evenings of my life.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I was an early beneficiary of the charity around 15 years ago so, it’s an incredible feeling to be able to give back to Caudwell Children.”

The artwork comprises of 20 separate canvases featuring sustainable materials that form into a cherry tree to represent hope and a positive future for disabled children.

Each canvas was intricately created using recycled charity leaflets, tickets, brochures and other re-used materials.

The concept of a tree was implemented to portray the roots as origins of the charity and disability and the top of the tree as how the charity has grown.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The impressive artwork formed part of a fundraising auction, led by Bargain Hunt’s Charlie Ross, which also included lots from fellow artists, including highly sought after works from Nat Bowen, David Yarrow and Genesis The Grey Kid.

Each canvas was sold for £1000, totalling £20,000.

The commissioned piece will now be displayed at the Caudwell International Children’s Centre in Staffordshire, with a grand unveiling planned for next year.

Nature and the environment have always played an important part in my life and has inspired my own form of art,” said James, 20.

“I want this piece of artwork to spread a message to people of the need to protect our environment for a better future.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I am so pleased that my art raised so much money for an incredible cause and grateful that I got this experience.”

Caudwell Children CEO, Trudi Beswick, said it was a pleasure to welcome James to the Butterfly Ball.

“As a charity we supported James when he was younger and we are incredibly grateful that he was able to raise money for the charity from his amazing artwork.

“The £20,000 that he was able to auction his art for on the night will make a massive difference to disabled children lives.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

James, who also studied at Ripon and Bradford colleges and creates artwork using recycled materials, was chosen as a COP26 Ambassador last year.

He was invited to Downing Street in the lead-up to this COP26 UN summit in Glasgow, and handed over a framed print of one his collages with a climate change message for Prime Minister himself.

Trudi added: “I am also delighted to hear about James being selected as one of the COP26 One Step Greener ambassadors. We are so proud of him.”

The annual Butterfly Ball raised over £1.5million which will help the charity continue to support even more disabled children through their practical and emotional support services.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.