John Dyer Artist in Residence at Newquay Zoo for Darwin 200

Published on 07/23/2009

Today was the first of a four day residency by famous Cornish Artist John Dyer as part of the DARWIN 200 celebrations.

Above left is a photograph of him with Mark Norris, head of education at Newquay Zoo. Pictured in the zoo's Tropical House exhibit.

If you look carefully you can also see 'Bob' the Bali Starling on a branch in the middle at the top. Off course Bob couldn't miss this opportunity of not only being in the painting but also having his photograph taken with John Dyer.

Just click on the photograph to make it larger and you should just be able to see our 'Bob'

John Dyer will be at the zoo on 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th July 2009.

A CELEBRATED Cornish artist says he is "very pleased" to be working with animals again after painting several pieces for Newquay Zoo. 

John Dyer, who grew up in Newquay, has been painting at Newquay Zoo for the Darwin200 Celebrations, which will take place at Falmouth Art Gallery later this year. 

Mr Dyer has since spent time overseas painting plants and animals in many places linked to the zoo's overseas projects including the Philippines, an area the zoo will be representing in its new Philippine exhibit in 2009.

"I am very pleased and inspired to be working with animals and birds in my paintings again," said Mr Dyer.

He will be one of many Cornish painters, photographers, cartoonists and printmakers inspired by the zoo and working alongside keepers to build up a bank of contemporary new works for the award-winning "fabulous, family friendly and free" Falmouth Art Gallery collection and its Darwin200 exhibitions. 

Zoo director, Stuart Muir, said: "In Darwin's day and on other great voyages of discovery before photography, artists were routinely taken along to record the landscapes, plants and animals they discovered, so we are both working within a long tradition and also using new media in these exhibitions."

Mr Dyer's residency is the result of a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Falmouth Art Gallery, Newquay Zoo and partners to receive an award of £50,000 to undertake a year-long project to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (1809-1882).

The project is being mounted in partnership with Newquay Zoo, Penlee House Gallery & Museum and University College Falmouth. The partnership will host a season of exhibitions, events and community activities as part of the national Darwin200 celebrations (www.darwin200.org). 

Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo's Darwin200 co-ordinator and education officer, said: "We look forward to seeing these new works once finished on display in Falmouth and at the zoo in Darwin's anniversary year 2009."

Talented Newquay Zoo staff have also submitted work for the exhibitions including photographer Michelle Turton, zoo director and wildlife illustrator Stewart Muir and environment officer and botanical painter Ruth Grant. Paignton Zoo volunteer Mark Parkinson who has photographed many animals at Newquay Zoo also has a photograph in the Falmouth exhibition.

Exhibitions: 

Falmouth Art Gallery is dedicating its 2009 exhibitions programme to the Darwin200 celebrations with four Darwin-themed exhibitions – www.falmouthartgallery.com 

● Voyages of Discovery: February 14 to April 18

● Species: April 25 to June 27

● A Day at the Zoo: July 5 to September 5

● Expressions in Man and Animals: September 12 to November 7