Grahame Sydney

Grahame Sydney is one of New Zealand’s major artists and his work spans over four decades. 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.  His 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.


1967–69 University of Otago, graduating BA (English and Geography)
1970 Secondary Teacher’s College, Christchurch


Museum of New Zealand Te papa Tongarewa, Wellington
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
Te Manawa Museum of Art Science and History, Palmerston North
Private collections through-out New Zealand and the world.