New artist in residence truly at home in Devon Wildlife Trust reserve.

Meeth Quarry Works1 by Peter Baker.Meeth Quarry Works1 by Peter Baker.

A quarry turned wildlife haven in the village of Meeth has proved an unending source of inspiration for a local artist.

Peter Baker has been appointed Artist in Residence for the Devon Wildlife Trust 150 hectare nature reserve of Meeth Quarry, which opened in May.

Peter moved to the village two years ago, and was delighted when he discovered his latest muse was literally at the bottom of his garden.

As a life-long artist, Peter soon found himself searching for a new local muse – to act as a focus for his painting and artistic expression. So when Devon Wildlife Trust bought the 150 hectares of Meeth Quarry in 2012, opening the site as a nature reserve in May 2013, he was delighted.

The trust’s work during the past year has seen the former clay quarry, which closed in 2004, transformed into a place for people and wildlife.

The tracks, paths, woodlands and lakes have given Peter a huge new outdoor studio. The reserve is now providing the stimulus for a series of works in pen and ink and some watercolour studies.

“When I moved to the lovely village of Meeth I had no idea my wife and I were going to be living next to the Tarka Trail and the new Meeth Quarry nature reserve,” said Peter, who often spends hours each day exploring and sketching the reserve.

“The mood of the reserve changes with the weather and the season, giving endless inspiration to any painter.”

Tamasine Addie from the trust added: “Peter’s work is wonderful. It beautifully captures the spirit and wild atmosphere of Meeth Quarry nature reserve.

“It’s just the kind of connection we hoped people in the community would make with this place. Peter’s art may be one man’s vision of the reserve, however it’s a vision that he very much wants to share.

“We think his work will really help people see the landscape at Meeth Quarry and appreciate it in a different way. It may even encourage people’s own artistic responses to this wonderful place.”

A selection of Peter Baker’s Meeth artworks can be seen at the Society of Graphic Fine Art’s website on www.sgfa.org.uk or see them at the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area website, www.northerndevonnia.org.