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Artists At Work – Grahame Sydney,Jeffrey Harris

29 April 2005

Artists At Work – Grahame Sydney And Jeffrey Harris

Two of New Zealand’s iconic artists shared their thoughts, motivations, and views on the world or art today at the Southern Lakes Festival of Colour to a full house in the Infinity Pacific Crystal Palace.

During the session Grahame Sydney and Jeffrey Harris talked about the daily life of the artist. Jeffrey Harris revealed the studio was his favourite place to be and he kept to a strict work schedule during the day. In contrast, Grahame Sydney admitted to a certain amount of procrastination during daylight hours before guilt set in about 4pm and he worked long into the night.

Neither artist has any formal art training and neither of them set great faith on the grants process, both agreeing you made it on your own as an artist. They were very clear and strong about the important role of Coin McCahon in New Zealand art and were critical of dealer galleries, agreeing that most support for artists came from patrons. They also discussed their favourite books and paintings including works by Vermeer and Rita Angus.

Festival director said the audience was transfixed by this insight into two such interesting minds. “It was a really strong exploration of ideas and approaches to art,” he said.

Others highlights of day three of the Festival included sell-out performances of theatrical comedies, Wheeler’s Luck and Niu Sila as well as a powerful performance by Mahinarangi Tocker and Friends.

The Festival continues tomorrow with the free street concert featuring Goldenhorse as well as a classical piano recital by Michael Houstoun and the world premiere of King and Country.


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