NEWCASTLE'S history is the focus of an art exhibition being held at Newcastle Region Library's Lovett Gallery.
One artist, Dudley Lewis, has channelled his lifelong talent and passion for art into more than 30 drawings on display at Telling Tales . . . Hunter History, Simple Stories and Perfect Pictures.
The 79-year-old former art teacher has recreated scenes from Newcastle in the late 18th century through to the mid 19th century using a selection of pencils and his imagination.
"It's all up here," Lewis laughed as he pointed to his head.
"I've done a lot of research about what life was like in Newcastle back then, but since there aren't any photos I've had to use my mind."
The Kotara South resident moved to Newcastle in 1978 and has since developed a keen interest in the city's rich history.
"I don't think enough people know about this town's past. It's incredibly absorbing - dark and wonderful," Lewis said.
The drawings, completed between 1998 and 2008, are rich in detail and tell tales of life in early Newcastle.
They include young boys swatting flies away in a butcher's shop to convicts building the great northern road.
The exhibition is being run in conjunction with the University of Newcastle, which provided Charles Martin's representations of the town to accompany Lewis's drawings.
Children's activities will be held during the school holidays at the Lovett Gallery, which will include art stations and life-size drawings from photographs.
■Telling Tales . . . Hunter History, Simple Stories and Perfect Pictures in the Lovett Gallery, second floor, Newcastle Library, until September 30.