Grahame Sydney has become one of New Zealand’s most significant and enduring artists. His work spans over 4 decades and encompasses oils, watercolours, egg tempera, lithographs, etching and photography. Rarely exhibiting, Grahame’s works are held in private collections through-out the world and represented in the collections of New Zealand’s major galleries and museums. Always a meticulously slow worker, he generally produces no more than six works a year.
Sydney was born in Dunedin in 1948, from a young age his talent and love of drawing was evident in his numerous drawings of Disney characters. The majestic environment of his early years growing up in Otago continues to be referenced in his mature works.
Over the last decade, since moving to live in the heart of Central Otago, Sydney has recorded on film the unique beauty, seductive austerity and magnificent seasonal extremes of the region known to the first Otago settlers as ‘The Wasteland’. Wasteland no more, Central Otago retains a vivid sense of the untouched, natural landscape, which separates it from the rest of the nation.
Largely self-taught, Sydney is best known for his landscapes of Central Otago. His work encompasses oils, watercolours, egg tempera, lithographs, etchings and photography.
Sydney is a clever magician who plies his craft with great skill and subtlety, making paintings that are seemingly simple, but their plain reality tenders deeper emotions than simple recognition. You don’t see the land here, you feel it… These hills, these skies give us a voice that is unique, a voice that is evoked by the art of Grahame Sydney. It is the voice of us all. – Keith Stewart
Sydney’s first solo show was at the Moray Gallery, Dunedin, in 1972. He then spent the following two years travelling through Europe, before returning to Dunedin and to life as a full-time painter. Sydney enjoyed early success as an artist and continues to command admirable interest as one of New Zealand’s most renowned artistic talents.
In 2004 Sydney was awarded the illustrious New Zealand Order of Merit for ‘Services to Painting’. Sydney has held numerous solo shows throughout New Zealand and his work is included in a variety of national and international collections, both public and private.
Grahame Sydney’s limited edition prints & photographs are available to purchase through our Editions page on our website.