Snap­shot: GRA­HAME SYD­NEY

NZ Life & Leisure - - Contributors -

Past: Dunedin-born and ed­u­cated, Gra­hame Syd­ney has lived most of his years south of the Waitaki River. Dream­ing of a ca­reer as a pain­ter, in the early 1970s he spent 18 months in Lon­don and Europe but in­stead learned what home­sick­ness was; that pe­riod hard­ened his re­solve to try to make some­thing of his pow­er­ful sense of be­long­ing to New Zealand and the south. Since 1974 he has wan­dered the Cen­tral Otago land­scapes as a pro­fes­sional artist and oc­ca­sional pho­tog­ra­pher, try­ing to give per­ma­nent form to his love of his home ter­ri­tory. Present: Gra­hame lives with his wife, Fiona, in the Cam­brian Val­ley near St Bathans, fac­ing the glo­ri­ous Hawk­duns ev­ery day, never tir­ing of the nat­u­ral dra­mas of each sea­son in that quiet cor­ner of what was once of­fi­cially known as ‘The Waste­land’. The fam­ily’s wire-haired fox ter­rier, Milo, now sadly blind, con­tin­ues to de­mand three walks each day and an open pas­sen­ger win­dow in the car so he can get high on the smells of the world. Fu­ture: Oc­ca­sional ex­cur­sions to the great gal­leries of the world, or lazy resorts in the trop­ics, break up the Syd­neys’ year, but the Call of Home is in­sis­tent and loud, and many paint­ings re­main to be done. Pho­to­graphs by Gra­hame ac­com­pany his friend Owen Mar­shall’s po­ems in the new col­lec­tion View from The South which was pub­lished in Au­gust, and his paint­ings can be seen at gra­hamesyd­ney.com

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