James Owens (b. 1995, Middlesbrough) is a painter based in south-east London. His work gathers past, present and imagined scenes to form new narratives, which operate in moments of liminality. In these works, plants creep, dance and communicate in hushed tones. They grow in unlikely settings, pushing up through cracks and stretching towards the sun. This world captures nature in its full capacity - toying in flux between splendid growth and brutal death. As a small flower tenderly blossoms, another wilts. A curling tendril soon becomes a parasite. The paintings tread gently upon this balance between strength and weakness, hope and doom. Figures may come together with closeness, but there is a sense that they are protecting each other from something. Similarly, wildflowers appear in glorious full bloom - or perhaps they are fighting against one another for survival.

Selected Exhibitions


Dreaming of UFOs, Lychee One Gallery, London (Solo show)

Praxis, Arusha Gallery, London


Unfair Weather, Lychee One Gallery, London

PPP on Paper, Painters Painting Paintings, online exhibition

Quiet Fire, Arusha Gallery, London (Solo show)

Bloodroot, Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh (Duo show) with Mary Herbert

Spring Fling, All Mouth Gallery, London 

What I See I Will Never Tell, Wilder Gallery, London



Delphian Open Call 2020, Delphian Gallery, online exhibition

Tender Kith, 155a Gallery, London

When Shit Hits the Fan, Guts Gallery, online exhibition




Evening Standard Art Prize (shortlisted), National Gallery, London


Oh, What a Tangled Web we Weave, Take Courage Gallery, London


2016 - 2018 BA Illustration, Camberwell College of Arts (UAL)

2015 - 2016 BA Illustration and Visual Media, London College of Communication (UAL)

2014 - 2015 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, London College of Communication (UAL)