An interesting, candid conversation with Grahame Sydney is in the September-October New Zealand Geographic. Grahame talks of his early involvement with the Maniototo and the ‘magnificent vast empty interior of Otago’ which he found to reflect his own character and personality.
“I’m a great believer in the idea that every painting you do should be an autobiographical revelation. My type of painter believes that the legacy of your work is the story of your life, in all its oddity and uniqueness. There is something about the landscape here which plainly means a lot to me, and I am constantly trying to explore that notion. I love the barrenness and skeletal boniness of it. I like the way the structure is so close to the surface. The veneer upon which we live and tread our paths is incredibly stretched and thin here. It’s a starvation landscape. Also, whether its people like me living here, or farmers trying to make a living, it’s a bit of a battle. There’s no luxury. I like that. Good things don’t come easy, in my philosophy”.