The Herald: ‘Where Southern Man Belongs’

The Herald, Michele Hewitson. If there are few people in Grahame Sydney’s Central Otago images, there are always traces: of people once here in those abandoned buildings and lonely letterboxes; of the painter himself. And, if he has achieved what he most desires to achieve, a transferral of an image into the viewer’s heart and mind.

I tell him that I showed the pictures in his book to a friend who grew up in Central Otago and that tears of homesickness, gone unacknowledged for decades, came to her eyes. “Oh, I love that. You see, that’s the potency. It’s an add-on. Another of those things that I’d never imagined.”

…There is a core of something which, without closer attention to detail might look like melancholy running through the deep strata in Sydney. But it is more like, if you peel back the layers a little, a deep seriousness.

You get the impression that he is a man to whom things don’t come easily, but that he gains his own private pleasures from the hard graft that is painstakingly examining the world and his place in it.