Etched in Time
14 October 2017 - 18 February 2018
Early Works from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Collection
Grahame Sydney is one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent artists. Born in Dunedin in 1948 and having lived most of his life in Otago, Sydney’s distinctive style and subject matter have become synonymous with the landscapes of Central Otago.
Largely self-taught, Sydney began learning the ‘etching craft’ in 1975 not long after he returned from studying Old Masters in Europe. The etching medium befitted Sydney, who developed a compact, linear and highly skilled etching technique. Valuing artistic traditions and formal qualities, Sydney uses lines, light, shadows and diagonals to create optical illusions.
‘I love the black and white tradition, and I really like the sort of rigorous discipline of it. The same applies to my etching: it suits my character somehow.’
Etched in time, a boutique exhibition drawn from the collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery reveals a sense of the art-making process in Sydney’s early development, specifically the interplay between his detailed studies, finished etchings and watercolours.