A HOWLING SUCCESS: Circus demonstrates his singing prowess, with encouragement from Hillary Austin and Jimmy Willing.
A HOWLING SUCCESS: Circus demonstrates his singing prowess, with encouragement from Hillary Austin and Jimmy Willing.

Singing dog Circus paints a picture

THE Star Court Arcade is often alive with the sound of music. But a special guest made it reverberate to tuneful canine howling on Tuesday.

Local artist Hillary Austin was exhibiting her painting of Circus the Singing Dog, co-performer with Jimmy Willing and the Real Gone Hick-ups, in the Window of Opportunity mini-gallery in the Arcade, when the crooning canine paid a visit.

As the 10th consecutive creative worker to exhibit in this adjunct of the Lismore Art in the Heart project, Hillary has painted a portrait of Circus for her Essence of Dog project.

"This project brings the essential nature of people's favoured pets to life in brush strokes," Hillary said.

"It can be very rewarding to see the reaction of the owners of the dogs and cats I paint."

Circus appeared happy with the proceedings, enlivening the photoshoot with an impromptu concerto conducted by his manager, Jimmy Willing.

"I'm stoked to see Circus immortalised in paint," Jimmy said.

He and Hillary are old friends, having met at the City Art Institute in Paddington Sydney while studying a BA in Fine Arts in the early 1980s.

While Jimmy has gone on to his own idiosyncratic musical and artistic pursuits, Hillary has since worked in television and exhibited in art galleries in Sydney, regional Queensland, the Northern Rivers and now Lismore.


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