THERE will be no shortage of people giving the Queen her gifts, from diamonds and pearls to paintings, on her visit to Australia.
Aarwun Gallery, of Gold Creek, is exhibiting one such painting by an Iraqi-Australian artist who fled his native country in the wake of the first Gulf War.
Edward Hydo’s “Tribute to the Queen” is a 1.5mx1.8m portrait of the Queen and Prince Phillip standing in a formal pose and the artist, a prominent member of Sydney’s Assyrian Christian community, wants the work to be presented to the monarch while she is in the country.
Hydo is no stranger to the world of public art.
His 1992 portrait of Paul Keating hangs in the former prime minister’s Sydney office and he has also painted large tribute paintings of Sir Donald Bradman, Ian Thorpe and the late Steve Irwin.
On the international scene, the former Iraqi won four major art awards in the Middle East, including first place in an international competition for the finest painting of an Arabian horse.
He also painted King Hussein, who personally thanked Hydo in 1986 for the portrait presented to the Jordanian monarch by the Iraqi Government.
He also painted another Hussein, Saddam, for whose government Hydo painted more than 500 paintings until he fled the country in the early ‘90s.
A prolific artist, now living in Sydney with his wife and four children, he says he is a proud Australian. He exhibits with Sydney’s well-known Bonnefin Gallery in Pitt Street.
Aarwun Gallery’s Robert Stephens told “CityNews” that Hydo was recognised as a famous artist in Iraq until he fell foul of the Saddam regime and ended up in refugee camps around Europe before finding a home here.
The procedure for gifting a work to the Queen involves the representing gallery getting in touch with the PM’s office, to which Stephens has said: “Edward is most grateful for the opportunity given to him to be able to come to Australia with his family and create a new life.”
“Tribute to the Queen” will be on display at Aarwun Gallery in Gold Creek until the Queen’s departure.
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