Living Laneways

We painting a new picture of Singleton and the canvas was our streets and laneways in Singleton's town centre. 

From interactive displays with shadows and thought boxes, to video projection, murals and sound devices, the Singleton Living Laneways project saw spaces around John Street unlocked through a suite of engaging and high-impact activations that celebrate our creative life and identity.

About the Program

The Living Laneways Program was the first program in the lead up to the launch of the Arts and Culture Centre to promote greater engagement within the town centre.

The Living Laneways Project aim was to reconnect community to local business, generate a sense of local identity to the laneways as well as bring much needed reactivation to the public spaces in Singleton.

This project aligns with Council’s Arts and Culture Strategy 2020-2030, while also enabling Council to understand how the larger Singleton community will benefit from these types of installations on an economic and social level.

The project is bringing international attention to Singleton, through collaboration between Council, University of Newcastle’s FASTLab and the Austrian organisation Arts Electronica to deliver the Shadowgram project in Bourke’s Arcade.

The Living Laneways project was funded by the NSW Government Streets as Shared Spaces grant program.

Program Objectives

 The objectives of the Streets as Shared Spaces – Living Laneways project was to:

  • Build on the identity and local character of key Singleton laneways that are under-utilised.
  • Increase the space for safe walking with improved lighting and safety of key laneways, facilitating greater use of the laneways during the day and night time.
  • Improve access on foot by encouraging use of key laneways to the main commercial shopping area of John Street, linking key Council car parks to the local centres.
  • Reconfigure laneways to support local small businesses on the main centre to help overcome a 22% loss of revenue for businesses in the Town Centre, increasing community and tourist foot traffic.
  • Reactivate John Street through improved access to better quality public spaces in the laneways.
  • Focus on projects that can be delivered in 2020 and early 2021, to reinvigorate business activity and community connection, after the significant impact to our economy and community.



Mural | Burns Lane

We transformed Burns Lane into a creative canvas designed for people to stop and interact. 

Live music, art installations and other interactive activities were all on the calendar for the three-month long activation culminating in Council's annual community event Firelight, breathing energy and life into Singleton's CBD. 

Artist Bronte Naylor converted the road surface into an epic mural artwork before we brought in more seating and planter boxes which were used to create zones for people to stop and interact in.


Mural | Soapsuds Lane

A vibrant new mural activated yet another laneway in Singleton, inspiring the imagination of locals and visitors ahead of the launch of the $4.08million Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre (SACC) in March 2022. 

Two centuries ago, Soapsuds Lane was bustling hub for travellers due, in part, to its proximity to George Street and the Hunter River crossing, flanked by an inn and wash house. 

Artist Bronte Naylor's mural design was inspired by research, including old documents and newspaper articles, as well as consultation with local historians. The laneway quite literally used to be filled with soap suds from the pails of washing water emptied from the wash house, and we also know from old newspaper articles that in the early 20th century it was the scene of a scuffle or two, so the inclusion of the bubble motif and boxing gloves within the design are a nod to that colourful past.


Shadowgram | Bourkes Arcade

A social brainstorming exercise! Shadowgram was a fun, participatory activity where people created a silhouette image of themselves and paste it on a landscape painting of Singleton. They then added a thought bubble and to tell us how they imagined the Singleton of tomorrow.

Mural | Tre Bella Laneway

Singleton artist Sally Hinchcliffe supported by St Catherine’s Catholic College year 12 graduate Altheya Agena created a 15m mural to activate this important laneway off John Street in Singleton's town centre.


Acoustic Alley | Tre Bella Laneway

‘Acoustic Alley’ was a soundscape experience powered by the University of Newcastle's Future Art, Science and Technology Lab that invited people to record the sounds of Singleton on their smartphone and submit it online. The sounds were then be played out of context in the laneway in an activation designed to connect people with the sonic heritage of Singleton.

Building on the amazing work by local mural artist Sally Hinchcliffe that was painted in 2020, Tre Bella Laneway became 'Acoustic Alley’ in December where the sounds of Singleton were activated using movement-activated sensors that made people stop and think ‘what’s that sound?’

Oribots | Evidence Laneway

The final instalment of Singleton’s Living Laneways activation project was a large-scale robot origami installation and the entire community was invited to take part. 

Evidence Laneway bursted with a vibrant floral installation of a different kind – adorned in origami-robot flowers that open whenever someone walks by,.

Combining art and science, ‘oribot’ workshops were facilitated by representatives from The University of Newcastle's Future Art, Science and Technology Lab at the Singleton Arts + Cultural Centre in April 2022, ahead of the exhibition in Evidence Laneway. The workshops were facilitated Dr Matthew Gardiner, an internationally-exhibited artist and inventor of Oribotics, and supported by university staff.

Mural | Evidence Laneway

Local artist Sally Hinchliffe also created a water- inspired mural – the perfect backdrop for our local surf shop.