Grahame Charles Sydney ONZM (born 1948) is a new Zealand artist, based in the southern South Island region of Otago.His landscapes, which concentrate largely on sparse elements of human impact on Otago's wild natural beauty and the loneliness of individuals in this scenery, possess a style which could be described as magic realism and have been compared to works by artists such as Edward Hopper. His work encompasses many media - oils, watercolours, etchings, tempera and lithographs.
Born in Dunedin 1948, he started a full-time art career in 1974, sharing his time since largely between Dunedin and Mount Pisa Station, near Cromwell. In 1978 he was named as Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago and married Roslyn Nairn the same year.
A book of his art, The Art of Grahame Sydney, won at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards (New Zealand's most prominent book award) in 2000. Sydney was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to painting in the 2004 New Year Honours.
In 2009 he made his first documentary film, released at the Wanaka Festival of Colour as "Dreaming of El Dorado.
"Sydney is a clever magician who plies 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."
Keith Stewart, Art Critic.