Lifetime of sketches reveal living history of Singleton

Published on 04 July 2022

Dr Faye Neilson, Singleton Council’s Coordinator Arts and Culture with artist Vivien Dwyer.jpeg

From the historic Baroona mansion at Whittingham, to army cadet training and simple still-life moments, local Singleton artist Vivien Dwyer’s observations of the world around her over the last four decades are being celebrated as part of her new exhibition ‘The Art of Being Here’ to be launched at the Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre on 8 July.  

Since moving to Singleton in the 1970’s, Vivien has recorded her experiences through a prolific series of 46 sketchbooks, many of which focus on the heritage buildings and gardens of the local Singleton area, as well as changing land use in the Hunter Valley. 

Sean Britton, Singleton Council’s Acting Director Organisation and Community Capacity said the stories behind Vivien’s works, which include watercolours, paintings and prints developed during the sketchbook process, reveal layers of history that connect our local community. 

“This exhibition showcases and celebrates Vivien’s unending curiosity – her sketchbooks are unedited personal diaries of her own experiences, providing a truly unique snapshot of a place in time which raise the ordinary to extraordinary,” he said. 

“A sketchbook is as an essential part of the creative process for many artists and this exhibition allows us to experience Vivien’s unique and deeply personal perspective as a document of the world around her.”

At selected times during the exhibition, Vivien will be available in the Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre as artist-in-residence, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to directly observe her skills and hear more about the many projects she has undertaken.

Mr Britton said many of the works to be displayed have been loaned to the Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre by local residents. 

“The generosity of  the owners of these works to support ‘The Art of Being Here’ exhibition has been really wonderful,” he said. 

“It’s an honour for the gallery to play host to Vivien’s artworks, and I encourage everyone to visit the Arts and Cultural Centre over the coming months to experience her unique perspective on Singleton and her incredible work for themselves.”

The Art of Being Here exhibition will be unveiled at the Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre with a special free opening night from 6pm on Friday 8 July 2022. Everyone is welcome to attend. The exhibition will be available for viewing until Sunday 25 September 2022. For more information, visit the Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre facebook page

Entry to the exhibitions at the Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre is free.