Grahame Sydney

SIR Grahame Sydney

New Zealand (b.1948)

Considered one of New Zealand’s most pre-eminent artists, Grahame Sydney’s passion for art has remained with him since childhood. Born in 1948 in Dunedin, the landscapes of his works reference the majestic environment of his early years. His talent and love of drawing was evident from a young age.

Largely self-taught, Sydney has worked in a wide variety of medium including oils, watercolour, tempera, etchings, lithographs, photography and documentary film making.

Keith Stewart succinctly summarises the appeal and talent of Grahame Sydney, stating that ‘Sydney is a clever magician who piles 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 just 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.’

His first solo show was in Dunedin at the Moray Gallery in 1972, following which he spent 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 and prestige as one of New Zealand’s most renowned artistic talents.

Sydney has travelled twice to Antarctica as guest of the New Zealand Government. Unable to use his usual media due to the extreme temperatures he turned to the camera, which resulted in a resurgence of his long-standing love of photography.

Grahame Sydney has held numerous solo shows throughout New Zealand and his work is featured in a variety of national and international collections both public and private. In 2004, Sydney was awarded the illustrious Officer of the New Zealand of Merit, for services to painting to add to his impressive list of achievements.