Grahame Sydney

Sir Grahame Charles Sydney KNZM (born 1948) is a New Zealand artist, based in the South Island region of Central Otago.[1] Since beginning his professional art life in 1974 he has worked as a painter (in egg tempera, oil and watercolour), printmaker (etching and lithography), photographer and writer.

Sir Grahame Sydney

Rozzie at Pisa, by Grahame Sydney
Grahame Charles Sydney

1948 (age 72–73)
Dunedin, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealander
Alma materUniversity of Otago
Known forPainter



Born in Dunedin in 1948, the youngest of three children, he gained a degree in English and Geography at University of Otago. In 1971 he began work as a secondary school teacher, and after two years spent time in London and Europe before returning to begin his career as an artist in May 1974. Four years later, in 1978 he was awarded the Francis Hodgkins Fellowship by the University of Otago. Since then he has lived variously between Dunedin, Mount Pisa Cottage near Cromwell and Central Otago.

Sydney has two children with his first wife Roslyn. He now lives and works in Cambrian Valley with his wife Fiona.


His subject matter focuses largely on the sparse elements of human impact on Otago's empty landscapes and the loneliness of individuals in this remote setting. In recent years, he has also consistently produced figure studies of his wife Fiona as model.

Sydney's works have drawn comparisons with such artists as Edward Hopper, Vilhelm Hammershoi, Christopher Pratt and Andrew Wyeth but his images are saturated with a profound sense of the New Zealand south.

Sydney has been the subject of several major exhibitions. His work is held in public institutions (including Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) and private collections in New Zealand and in private collections throughout the world. He now rarely exhibits publicly, occasionally collaborating with galleries but mainly working with a private client list.

In the 2004 New Year Honours, Sydney was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to painting. In the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was promoted to Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to art.[2]

Several books have been published on Sydney's work: Grahame Sydney Paintings: 1974–2014 (2014); The Art of Grahame Sydney (1999); Timeless Land (1995). Two books of his photography have been published: White Silence: Grahame Sydney's Antarctica (2008) and Grahame Sydney's Central Otago (2011). In 2009 he wrote Promised Land, a history of the Otago goldfields.


  1. ^ "Central Otago, New Zealand | The official website for the Central Otago region – discover 'A World of Difference'" . Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2021" . Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 7 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.

External links


Information as of: 28.08.2021 01:54:40 CEST

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