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Vandalised Painting Strikes Chord with Public

Vandalised Painting Strikes Chord with Public

There has been a ‘stream’ of requests for signed copies of one of Grahame Sydney’s most famous paintings, ‘Timeless Land’ (1992), which the painter has vandalised in protest at the rash of inappropriate development in the South Island.

Sydney’s print of the Hawkdun Range, sprayed with blood-red wind turbines, is being sold as part of a fundraising initiative in support of Save Central’s campaign. ‘Grahame Sydney’s powerful image clearly strikes a chord with the many New Zealanders who share our concern that New Zealand ’s “special places” be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations,’ says coordinator Graye Shattky.

Save Central is an umbrella group representing environmental organisations and individuals defending Central Otago’s outstanding landscapes against industrial devastation. Mr Shattky says that requests for the protest poster have come from overseas as well as around New Zealand since last weekend’s publicity.

‘The pace of sales has taken us by surprise,’ said Mr Shattky. ‘We’re greatly encouraged by this response which will further energise our battle to protect Central Otago’s “World of Difference”.’

"We are aware that “Timeless Land” is a well-known painting, and even the Central Otago District Council uses that "Timeless" term in its own branding brochures, so it is the appropriate generic landscape for this threatened region.’

However, the group is still a long way off reaching the ‘very substantial funds’ it seeks for a variety of environmentalist causes opposing local subdivision, wind and hydro development, including the soon-to-be-notified Nevis hydro scheme. According to Shattky, ‘Donations are never more welcome than now, but it does seem wrong that private citizens are required to find hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect national heritage while our paid, elected representatives sit on their hands and remain silent.’

Dunedin-based poet Richard Reeve, whose book The Among is to be launched in limited edition by Maungatua Press this weekend, is another Otago creative identity seeking to raise funds for Save Central. Reeve, whose book-length poem was substantially written during his time as Todd Writing Fellow in 2003, has chosen to donate proceeds from sales to the campaign.

Prints, signed and defaced by Sydney may be purchased via the group’s website: www.savecentral.org

ENDS

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