Bar Beach was where singer Katie Noonan spent the summer holidays as a child.
The ARIA award-winning vocalist will return to Newcastle on Friday to perform the poetry of cartoonist and writer Michael Leunig, which she says perfectly captures "big, serious things and childlike wonder".
It's a dichotomy that has become relevant in adulthood, Noonan says, influencing her band's 2018 release "Gratitude and Grief". The album transforms Leunig's verses into song.
"He manages to say a lot of things with very few words, that's the sign of a great writer," she said.
Leunig said the collaboration with Noonan's jazz trio, Elixir, was a "terrific compliment".
"To see your art picked up by another artist and taken somewhere else, that’s a real pleasure."
The band's performance at the Civic Theatre will feature Leunig drawing live on stage.
"Before Katie sings each song, I will read my own poem out loud and then I return to a desk and start drawing an image that will sort of fit the song," he said.
"You really feel it when you draw it."
Noonan said the trio's music and Leunig's art were well matched.
"Elixir is a quieter musical experience … all about being in the moment with gentle, beautiful sounds. Michael's words were perfectly suited to that," she said.
"I think in a lot of ways Michael is a frustrated musician and I am a frustrated writer, so we make a perfect combination."
The Melburnian agreed.
"I love music. Making poetry or painting, there’s some similar feeling to it.
"It's lyrical, it's otherworldly and that’s the great joy of it," Leunig said.