In the media
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April 2024

Great British Racing


Today at Pontefract Racecourse, Yorkshire, Great British Racing unveiled a piece of artwork to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. Created by local artist James Owen Thomas, the artwork that is made from recycled materials, pays tribute to the royal family’s longstanding connection and love for the sport of horseracing.

Great British Racing commissioned J.O.T., who is an environmental artist based near Harrogate, to create the mosaic-style piece using recycled materials from horseracing such as racing silks, racecards, tickets, newspapers and racing photos. The celebratory collage includes details including the names of all 59 racecourses in Great Britain and centres around the purple and red royal silks that are widely recognised within racing and outside of the sport.

The large-scale artwork has been displayed for racegoers at Pontefract Racecourse today and will move to Thirsk racecourse to be displayed on Saturday 6th May for the Coronation. See images from the unveiling event here.

In 2019 J.O.T. created a piece of art for Pontefract Racecourse as part of sustainability campaign. Richard Hammill, Chief Operating Officer of Pontefract Racecourse said: “We are delighted to work alongside Great British Racing and welcome James Owen Thomas and his family back to Pontefract to unveil his incredible piece of artwork for the occasion of King Charles III’s Coronation.”

Hammill continued: “Pontefract Racecourse were honoured to work with James on a sustainability campaign in 2019 and we have the fantastic art that he created for us on display at every race meeting. We are thrilled that James chose Pontefract as the venue to launch his new piece and we continue to follow his blossoming career with a huge amount of pride and interest.”

On making the art J.O.T. said: “It’s such an honour and a privilege to be chosen to create a new piece of art to celebrate the Coronation. I am pleased to be using recycled materials for this artwork, which is also in keeping with the King’s great interest in protecting the environment.”

J.O.T. continued: “I enjoyed colour sorting all the items sent to me by Great British Racing, and as I would be working largely in purple, red and gold, I knew exactly which materials to work from. Amongst other things, I used torn pieces from race day magazines, tickets, and even old racing silks, which are ideal to cut up. Large pieces of text cut from old leaflets form an abstract background. One very important feature that was added to the collage is a sparkling Coronation Crown.”

Sketch by Zoey Clenshaw at Harryschocs
Stray Ferret


Highly Commended: James Owen Thomas, JOT’s Gallery
James Owen Thomas is an environmental artist and owner of JOT’s Gallery. James was diagnosed with autism aged three and has since used this, as well as his love for the environment, as a means of inspiration for his art. James is an ambassador the Tree Council, supporting its Force For Nature campaign. James’s artwork has helped raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society, Autism Trust, Disability Action Yorkshire, National Autistic Society and many more. The judges believed James is a star in the making.

Presenting my collage to Leah Holmes from the regional office of the Alzheimer’s Society for their fundraising event at Southwark Cathedral.
The Commission for the Caudwell Children’s Charity
The Unveiling Event


On a #ForceForNature mission to deliver a parcel containing my “At Twilight” artwork for the PM with a message “At Twilight – but not too late in the day we hope to save the planet
28th October 2021 - Standing outside No. 10 with Richard Pollard from The Tree Council, London

Click image to enlarge

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