The Press, John Coley. Grahame Sydney constructed his personal vision from early observations of his Otago homelands, by later exploring every road traversing the Maniototo Plain, through epic morning jogs in the hills of Tarras, and by numberless, careful drawings, which were later melded by skill, experience, and emotion into images which we recognise as his alone whether we are moved by them or not.
His imitator meanwhile derives his “vision” from the scrutiny of Sydney’s paintings. His polished technique may persuade some that these works are the equal of the originals.
With an original, you are connected directly to the artist’s thought processes. You follow a creative mind at work. The imitation confronts us with a blankness behind the work; an exercise in another individual’s style as sincerely felt as a forged signature…
Originality is a hard journey. Imitation hitches a ride. Join me then in raising a hand in salute to the truly original artists amongst us and, with the other, give a thumbs down to those who ride on their coat tails.