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Thoughts well-wrought, Damian Love

View from the South
Owen Marshall (Grahame Sydney photographer)
Vintage, $40.00, ISBN 9780143771845

It often seems to be the case that novelists, when they turn to verse, move with a more relaxed gait, a less self-conscious regard, than those whose passport to the Republic of Letters declares them to be Poets. I am glad that Owen Marshall is not a Poet. This happy circumstance leaves him free to write poetry. There is no straining for originality in his verse, no exhibitionist sensitivity, just a quiet confidence in the value of well-wrought thought.

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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Making Art in words and paint

Grahame Sydney, artist, recalls a significant book.

It lay beside my bed through most of my teenaged years, one of two constant companions of my privately turbulent adolescence. The other was Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit, and both paperbacks grew imperceptibly more battered with miles and years, finally so fragile in their sellotaped bandaging that pages worked free of their spinal gum. They were the only two books I took with me on my melancholy odyssey to England, dreaming of artistic stardom in early 1973, and I have them both still.

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Posted in Imprints

No country for old men, Megan Dunn 

Grahame Sydney Paintings 1974-2014
Grahame Sydney (essay by Vincent O’Sullivan)
Craig Potton, $100.00,
ISBN 9781927213254

Myself, Looking Back is Grahame Sydney’s extensive memoir of his childhood and formative artistic years up until his sell-out solo exhibition in 1975. Early on in this detailed and reflective piece, Sydney’s boyhood self asks: “Weren’t all lives like ours?” This question is rhetorical and it hits the right elegiac note, but ultimately the answer is no.

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Shooting the south, Stella Ramage

White Silence: Grahame Sydney’s Antarctica Grahame Sydney  Viking, $115.00, ISBN 9780670072538 How does the sustained gaze of the landscape painter, obsessively re-imagining the sun-scorched expanses of Central Otago in a million meticulous brushstrokes, adjust to the mechanical snap of a

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Posted in Non-fiction, Photography, Review

Objects in a landscape, Bill Sewell

The Art of Grahame Sydney Grahame Sydney and contributors Longacre Press, $99.95, ISBN 1 877135 31 3 The Central Otago I know does not figure much in Grahame Sydney’s art. The particular area I remember best is the Strath Taieri,

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review
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