Grahame Sydney was born in Dunedin in 1948. He spent school holidays in Karitane and later in Central Otago, where he was impressed by the dry, untouched expanse of the land. At this time he also received art tuition from Harry Vye Miller. After completing a university degree, Sydney taught at Cromwell High School (1971-72) and worked towards his first solo exhibition in late 1972 at the Moray Gallery, Dunedin. In 1974, on his return home after a period in Europe, Sydney began painting full time; four years later he was Francis Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago. Since then Sydney has exhibited extensively nationwide and his work is held in public and private collections in New Zealand and overseas.