Mechanic turns his hand 
to charity art exhibition

NATURAL ARTIST Nick Barker with his drawing of a bull elephant
NATURAL ARTIST Nick Barker with his drawing of a bull elephant

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PAINTING and drawing have always been part of Nick Barker’s life, and now he is organising an exhibition to showcase his and other artists’ work.

Nick, 52, from Fareham, is hosting the event to raise money for the Wildsave conservation charity.

The coach mechanic began honing his skills by painting Lucketts Travel Group vehicles which he worked on, and one of his pictures of the old H Luckett haulage trucks hangs in director Ian Luckett’s office.

After selling a few of his drawings to friends and family, Nick’s artistic inspiration changed when he joined Marwell International Wildlife Art Society (MIWAS).

Since then his paintings of wild animals have been recognised, at the BBC’s Wildlife Awards in 2010.

Nick said: ‘I’ve always been interested in animals, planes, buses and people.

‘I went on safari with the MIWAS a few times. The first time was in Botswana, and we actually camped in tents.

‘After that I went to the Ngorongoro Crater in the Serengeti, Tanzania. It was there that I saw this enormous bull elephant, which I drew last year from a picture I took of him, and will be exhibiting in August.’

The MIWAS closed down in March this year but as one of its former board members Nick was approached by its artists to use his experience in running exhibitions at Marwell Zoo, and later Rookesbury Manor, to put on this exhibition together.

It will be something of a family affair, as Nick’s daughter Alannah will be among the exhibiting artists.

‘We’re hoping it will be a well-supported event and raise some money for the conservation of endangered wildlife at the same time,’ added Nick.

The Southern Nature Art Exhibition will take place at Rookesbury Manor, in Southwick Road, Wickham, from Friday, August 28 to Monday, August 31, opening at 10am.

It is a free event but money raised from sales of the art and an art market at the event will be donated to the Wildsave conservation charity. For more info visit southernnatureart.com.