13 March – 2 May 1982
Grahame Sydney's tempera paintings generate thought and wonder as they raise disturbing questions about truth and reality. It is a particular temptation with realist painting to mistake the manifest and meticulous work for the art. Also with non-realist painting, particularly painting in a highly expressive manner, the temptation occurs, the other way round, to mistake the art for the work. It is this latter mistake, one suspects, which underlies too vigorous and exclusive a preference for realism over other styles of art.
There is the suspicion that with the realist painter, we tend to ignore the possible influences of personality in the images we contemplate because we are too accustomed to a common kind of image to which a realist painting may seen to bear a superficial resemblance: namely, a photographic image. Our culture and consciousness is such that in palpable error, we trust in the impersonal evidence of a photograph, and so too in the reality of what appears to resemble a photograph.
This exhibition of selected paintings with working drawings & photographs of original subjects will pose these questions and provide visitors with the opportunity to examine the true nature of one artist's approach to "realist painting".
('Grahame Sydney: Drawing into Painting', Bulletin, No.20, March/April 1982, p.3)
Robert McDougall Art Gallery - main gallery