Grahame Sydney

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1948

Joe 90’s Bed

  • 1981
  • Aquatint etching
  • Purchased 1981
  • 279 x 380mm
  • 81/43

Grahame Sydney is perhaps best known for lonely, expansive paintings of the Otago landscape, but in the late 1970s and early 80s he made a series of etchings that focus instead on rural buildings – derelict woolsheds, farm kitchens, or, as here, the modest quarters provided for a seasonal shearer. Although these spaces are always empty, they prickle with the traces of human activity. In this apparently simple but extraordinarily attentive scene, we see only a light-filled window and a stripped bed. These simple elements – and the artist’s title – keep their occupant close to mind.

(Absence, May 2023)

Exhibition History