Grahame Sydney

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1948

Night Model

  • Nov 1985
  • Aquatint
  • 281 x 372mm
  • 85/77

Grahame Sydney has given his nude model an element of mystery, concealing her identity by shielding her face and eyes from the viewer. The mystery is enhanced by the night-time setting and shadowy surroundings. However, unlike nudes in the historical European tradition, the figure retains her individuality. Perhaps best known for his landscape paintings, Sydney developed an interest in the figure during the early and mid 1980s when his father had terminal cancer, which made him newly aware of the frailty present within the human body. The granulated effect seen in this work comes from it being an aquatint – a specialised etching technique that involves the use of a metal plate coated with a porous resin. Sydney was born in Dunedin and studied at the University of Otago. He has exhibited his work since 1972 and began painting full-time in 1974. In 1978 Sydney was granted the University’s Frances Hodgkins Fellowship Award for art. His work is held in public and private collections in New Zealand and overseas.