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James Tovey

artist James Tovey girl with guitar 2023

James Tovey One Summer Day 2023

Battlelines Peterborough, September 29th 2023, a collaboration between Cur_5 and Flourish, two artists drawing about food , here is James Tovey’s finished peice, Posca pens on painted board, 4ft x 3ft.

During lockdown I made an instagram account @tufiarts with over 550 posts and highlights from my artwork, covering the period 1987 to 2023.

You also can click on the website button on this page:

About James Tovey Artist and Craftsman

I love painting, drawing, making and building things, from visual 2d images through to large wooden structures. I try and draw everyday, noting my ideas and exploring where next my work will take me.  I make drawing and paintings to commission, offer private tuition and also run a craft business manufacturing and repairing bespoke wooden items and boats; see one of these new build projects that also incorporates my artwork at PAOS 2023.

For commission, tuition or business inquiries please call me on: 07908794691. Open normal office hours.


see my profile on Instagram: ᛏᚢᚠᛁ 

Education:Byam Shaw School of Art
Universities of Hull and Exeter
International Boatbuilding Training College Lowestoft 

Some examples of my exhibitions and events:

Digital drawing translated onto glass using Posca pens 2023.

Made for the launch of an exhibition curated by Lauren of Flourish Peterborough. Drawing about the real food available in Peterborough.
The Growing Together exhibition continues until the end of September 2023 with a display at the museum, ten specially decorated windows around the city and city centre and a series of talks and events – pick up a brochure from Peterborough Museum to find out more.

@flourishpeterborough #posca #windowdisplay #realfood #jamestovey #toveyarts #peterboroughmuseum #foodhall

James Tovey and John Elson Pop Up Art Production Studio

The Vivacity Unit has been set up as a production studio for the week of live art. Visitors can get involved in the drawing experience as well as talking to John and myself about our methods and ideas. See the creative process from conception to the digital version ready to submit for publication. You could also get drawn…! Each of us makes very different work but both of us often use digital tablets to work on, we can also offer hand drawn portraits should a visitor want to sit for one. John’s speciality is caricatures which have proved very popular at many events around the country including last years Peterborough beer festival.When:From Saturday 1st February – Sunday 9th February 2020
10am – 5.30pm daily (Late night Thursday till 7pm)
10am – 4pm Sundays
Where:Vivacity Unit, Queensgate, Peterborough. (Guildhall entrance off Cathedral Square)
Over the last few years Peterborough’s leading cultural charity Vivacity has been donating their shop unit to artists from Peterborough Artist Open Studios to showcase their work. This February 2020, the unit will once again be set up as an art space, going live with art in action, demonstrations and the chance to get involved creating some new energetic designs, some even destined for digital output and online presentation.Open for a week, the space features work from two of Peterborough’s artists, James Tovey and John Elson. The two artists have worked together on numerous community projects including the successful Future Floodlands event held in Cathedral Precincts and a two week project at the Westraven Community Garden building Peterborough’s first SolarPunk eco-constructivist sculptures as well as running workshops with the local community.You can also get details on how to become part of Peterborough’s growing arts community in joining the yearly Peterborough Artists Open Studios event. Exhibition organised by Peterborough Cathedral Education team and Peterborough Environment and City Trust. Located at new building, Peterborough Cathedral, August to October 2019 to coincide with the Luke Jerram Gaia installation.The artwork idea was originated from bench ends and miserchord designs, particularly the Mermaid of Zennor.Framed in a large red oak frame and set up on a specially built temporary stand in the new building, the artwork received over 800 engagements many from Peterborough school children, The picture has been widely viewed and engaged with on the internet. A further note on the making of Mermaid with her Mahi-Mahi and Oceanplastic: I held all the seaplastic objects in my hand whilst painting them, there is no fixed view point or vanishing point in the painting. The objects were never arranged other than in the painting for the effect of pattern and the illusion of space. The depth and space in the painting comes from the scale compared to the viewer and the mermaid and her fish. Some objects are larger than life-size, others smaller. I purposely did not play with combining different viewpoints in a cubist manner nor reverse perspective in a David Hockney type way; but the floating placement without a single perspective position and the conscious play of scale does nod to Hockney in that respect. The original concept was to make use of black delineations in a cartoon/graphic manner consistent with my ink drawings but that would have then flattened to space and obstructed the content as I felt its method would have become too dominant. I was injured at the time and had to paint with my right hand as well as my left it slowed me down and I averaged about six pieces of plastic a day, overall the picture took about a month to make, the sea blues had to be painted a few times to help with the depth in the pigment.


The Peterborough Open: 29th March 2019 – 26th May, Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery #peterboroughmuseum

#pboromakefest 2018

Fifth Musician of the #Plastocalypse @#plastigeddon in the #plasticene . See the figure recently made during #pboromakefest 2018, by a gang of small and tall builders; on temporary exhibition in the Peterborough Museum Garden.

with Milly Tovey at Peterborough Museum & Vivacity Heritage.

Plastic, Native, Temple

Vivacity Unit, Queensgate Peterborough, PE1 1PU

7th – 20th May 2018

Plastic is now ubiquitous.
We’re living through the Plasticene. 
You can buy a 2.4m plastic cactus for your hallway; you won’t have to water a real cactus using tap water, that itself now contains plastic micro-particles.

James Tovey artist mermaid and #oceanplastic 2018

Mermaid and oceanplastic 2018

‘The plastic arts’ is a term that had existed long before plastic itself. I have wanted to try and look at the plastic objects I had collected over the last few years as naively as possible, as though life-drawn for the first time by an art student intent on learning through prolonged observation. Not interested in the Neoplastism of the De Stijl movement, instead my initial thoughts were of a metamorphosis and of bringing ancient mythology and plastic ¬- a 20th century invention – together in an uncomfortable way. However I found myself reluctant to go too far down the path of the collision of two plastic objects to transmogrify into a third construct – yet there is a definite modernist basis for some of the elements.

The mermaid painting backdrop idea came from a small toy figure found as sea plastic litter. It is actually the top half part of a small Barbie figurine, but I initially thought it to be Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I researched mermaid art and came across the mermaid of Zennor and was attempting to build a composition around that and some lines from Ovid but the plastic overwhelmed it.

Wood is an obvious counterpoint and natural contrast with which I have felt more at ease. The plastic components are essentially ready-mades although altered by collision with natural processes in the environment and some minor assemblage. Wood is also an ancient, relevant building material. In this installation, the wood forms a sanctuary, a natural structure and the plastic is an imposition on it and in it.

There is no doubt the terrible convenient addiction that societies have developed for plastic eases the struggle against decay in the short term. What now looks to be a permanent error is that plastic is with us for the foreseeable and has been injected into the human food chain. I can imagine a child born being described as a plastic native to perhaps a planet slowly choking at Plastigeddon,

Polystyrene skulls and accumulated plastic 2018


Friday 29th & Saturday 30th December 2017,

Castor Village Hall, Peterborough Road, Castor, PE5 7AX.

Open 10am – 10pm FREE ADMISSION

Castor Ales Brewery will be providing a bar for exhibition veiwers refreshment.

Inktober 2017:

The Inktober drawings gave me the chance to renew my interest in illustration techniques I had learnt at school,  University and work, as well as refreshing my memory of technical ink drawing techniques and the many ways a drawing can be put together in preparation for publication

Buy my work at:

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James Tovey Artist



Images on the website are the copyright property of the artists or groups named. Please contact the artists using the details they have listed here for more information or to obtain permissions for use.

Contact name
James Tovey

Artist address
7 Moreley's Lane, Corby Glen, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG33 4NL

Mobile 07908794691

Open days

24 June 2023
25 June 2023

Website Shop View map Email

Open other times by appointment

Demonstrations available

Tuition offered

Garden open for visitors

Refreshments served

Commissions accepted

Published artwork related exhibitions and events:

29th Sept 2023. BattleLines contestant along with Carol Clark another PAOS artist, each making a drawing 4ftx3ft  in posca pens on painted board in the course of 90mins, the art battle was part of Growing Together events curated by Lauren Kendrick of Flourish Peterborough . Battlelines is organised by artist Cur_5 more details can be found on and

Artwork poster ‘One Summers Day’ exhibited in Squires Coffee Shop Peterborough Museum as part of Growing Together events curated by Lauren Kendrick of Flourish Peterborough. 10th August – 30th September 2023.

Photo-synthesize – workshop day at Peterborough Museum helping children colour mix and paint three canvases from direct observation about pre and probiotic foods supplied by , 12th August 2023. The paintings subsequently included in the Growing Together exhibition till 30th September 2023.

Window artwork for Flourish Peterborough’s Growing Together art, food, workshops and events 2023, sponsored by Arts Council England, 10th August to 30th September 2023, at the Food Hall, Bridge street, Peterborough

The Flea Cycle (or The Earth’s Dilemma)! Book Launch PAOS ,Weekend 1 June 2023, Ailsworth.

Made in 2022, Peterborough Cathedral, 8th Feb – 2nd March 2023

Willoughby Gallery Open, Corby Glen, Nov 2022

Starflower II Observatory & window designs behind the scenes,  PAOS, Ailsworth, Peterborough 25, 26 June, 2, 3 July 2022

Oak Trunks, Temple Wood, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly, London, 21st June – 21st August 2022

Cats Eye Nebula workshop and build, Westraven Community Garden, April 2022

Peaceflower workshop and build, Olivebranch Community Garden, Peterborough, April 2022

I Saw Three Ships – constructions set up in Main Street, Ailsworth,  5th December 2021 to 6th January 2022

Willoughby Gallery Open, Oct – Nov 2021

Angel Musicians Installation Christmas 2020, Main Street, Ailsworth.

Art Restart at Peterborough Museum and City Gallery Dec 2020

Solarpunk Drawings of Peterborough, Vivacity Unit, Queensgate 1st – 9th Feb 2020.

‘Mermaid with her Mahi-mahi’, Oil on Linen 72 x 76 inch in a red oak frame.   Exhibited in the Peterborough Cathedral, August to October 2019 to coincide with Luke Jerram’s Gaia installation.

‘Drift’, The Peterborough Open: 29th March 2019 – 26th May, Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery #peterboroughmuseum

Fifth Musician of the Plastocalypse, Peterborough Makefest, Peterborough Museum and City Gallery, December 2018.

Four Musicians of the Plastocalypse, Peterborough Heritage Festival, June 2018

Contemporary Peterborough Artists July – September 2018 Peterborough City Museum and Art Gallery

‘Plastic, Native Temple’, Vivacity Unit Queensgate Peterborough 7th-20th May 2018, mermaid painting from installation exhibited Peterborough Heritage festival 2018 and published in Peterborough Telegraph May 2019

‘After the Fall’, ink drawings on paper and acrylic paintings on canvas, 29th & 30th December 2017 Castor Village Hall, Peterborough, UK

The Debris Navigator and other OutsideART: WestRaven Community Garden, August 2017

Yarrow Gallery, Oundle 31st July – 6th August 2017

Artist Day Nene Park July 2017

PAOS 2017 (June 2017)

‘Star Flower’ at the Peterborough Heritage Festival June 2017

Sun Henge at the Green Backyard Peterborough 2016-2017

Peterborough Green Festival 2016 #pectgreenfest

Peterborough Heritage Feastival 2016 2nd/3rd July 2016

PAOS City Gallery Exhibition 2016 24th June – 6th July 2016

Peterborough Open 2016 Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery 18th March – 15th June 2016

Undercroft Theatre Serpentine Green, Hampton, Peterborough 11th to 21st Nov 2015

Peterborough Arts Festival 4th – 6th September 2015 Torii 1 series which also featured a sculpture from the Plastic Ocean Column series

Peterborough Heritage Festival 19th-21st June 2015 Mountain 2008 series and Future floodplain Xoanon

Design concept drawing for a new stone sculpture of St Kyneburgha 2013, sculpture made by Mark Sharpin, master stonemason. Installed above priests door 2015, outside south side of St Kyneburgha’s, Castor. Project commissioned by St Kyneburgha Trust. Design based on a statue of St Kyneburgha on the west front of Peterborough Cathedral. Trust specified that the new statue be holding the possible shape of the Saxon Church as discussed in five parishes books.

Eco fishing boat design prizewinners – joint 3rd place 2010 published in Classic Boat Magazine, Martin Hill and James Tovey designed a concept boat for a small sail powered fishing vessel to comply with EU regulations for sustainable fisheries. Drawings by James Tovey.

2008 ‘Mountain’ paintings – web exhibition (new websites were bigger deal in 2008 than 2019) Series of 12 oil paintings from digital sketches, exploring air pollution, apocalyptic climate change and alternate reality in combination with written poetry.

Hardraw force series exhibited Castor 2004, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition entries 2 paintings 2005

Kilnsea series, exhibited, Bourne, Lincolnshire 2003 and RWA Open 2004

Sketchbook drawings 2003 – prints taken from sketchbooks 1996-2000 exhibited Peterborough and Bourne

Watching post project 2003 – concept installation and paintings exhibited Peterborough

East Hill 2002 – large narrative series of oils on board exploring the psycological implications and environmental problems of the coming war in Iraq. Exhibited Peterborough.

Requiem 2001 Oil painting series on canvas exhibited Castor 2001 and Peterborough 2002, one panel from the 30 ft panorama can still be seen above the door in St Kyneburgha’s Lady Chapel.

1998-2000 Ink and digital graphic illustrations for the publications and archives of the English Heritage Humber Wetlands Project. Iron Age Fort reconstruction

Ken at the Byam Shaw 1995, oil painting bought by Ken!  and charcoal drawings.

Artwork associated with participation on the Mount Kenya 1990, high altitude alpine zone conservation expedition.






Notice of PAOS AGM 2023

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PAOS Affordable Art Fair 2023

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Flourish – Window Art starts a festival of workshops in Peterborough

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