New Zealand b. 1948
From childhood drawings of Disney characters in the 1950s, through to the large majestic landscapes of Otago forty years onward, Grahame Sydney's passion for painting has never diminished. He has worked widely in oils, watercolours, tempera, etchings and lithographs. Following his first solo exhibition at the Moray Gallery in 1972, he spent a period overseas in the United Kingdom and Europe before returning to Dunedin in 1974 to begin life as a full-time artist. Those years have witnessed an impressive and substantial body of work, and an extensive exhibition history.
His work now spans overﾠ4 decades and encompasses oils, watercolours, egg tempera, lithographs, etching, photography and film. 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. The iconic ‘Rozzie at Pisa’ hangs in Wellington at Te Papa Tongarewa, and his ‘Self-Portrait at Fifty’ is held by the Christchurch Art Gallery. He has exhibited rarely, but a major 25 year retrospective, Regions of the Heart, was held at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery from November 1999 to February 2000.
Painting now for a private client list and always a meticulously slow worker, he generally produces no more than six works a year. His paintings are rarely exhibited for public sale. However his lithographs and photographs are highly regarded and sought after and the reproduced art prints of his work have sold in their thousands. He was awarded an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to painting in 2003.
Sydney is alsoﾠthe author of Promised Land (2009), his Antarctic photographs are collected in White Silence (2008) and his Central Otago paintings were first published in the much-loved Timeless Land (1995 [now in itsﾠ5th reprint]). To learn more about the artist and his work we recommend reading the Montana Award winning book The Art of Grahame Sydney (2000).
Grahame is well known for his environmental activism and is currently a spokesperson for the ‘Save Central’ campaign to prevent large scale wind farms from dominating the Central Otago landscape.