Many New Zealanders only know the Maniototo through the works of Dunedin-born realist painter Grahame Sydney (w grahamesydney.com), who spends much of his time in the region. His broad, big-sky landscapes of goods sheds amid parched fields and letterboxes at lonely crossroads are universally accessible, and instantly recognizable to anyone visiting the region.
Prints and postcards of his work are found throughout the Maniototo and beyond, and originals hang in most of the country’s major galleries. At first glance many of the works are unemotional renditions, but reflection reveals great poignancy. As he says, “I’m the long stare, not the quick glimpse”.