The portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume is to be hung in Westminster

An official portrait of the late Nobel laureate and SDLP leader John Hume is unveiled in Westminster.

The portrait was commissioned by the Advisory Committee on Artworks to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Painted by critically acclaimed Belfast artist Colin Davidson, the portrait of the former Foyle MP will hang in Portcullis House, one of the busiest buildings on the British Parliament estate, marking the contribution the Nobel Peace Prize winner made in his 22 years as Westminster MP.

The artwork, which was painted over several weeks in Davidson’s studio, is based on sketches Davidson made during sessions with Mr Hume in 2016 – four years before his death.

First elected to the Foyle constituency in 1983, Mr Hume was a leading figure in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement.

He was chairman of the SDLP from 1979 to 2001 and one of the most important architects of the peace process.

In 1998 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in the North.

Supported by his wife Pat, Mr. Hume’s work has earned him praise from across the political spectrum at home and abroad.

At the suggestion of SDLP MP for Belfast South, Claire Hanna, the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Artworks agreed to commission the portrait as a permanent addition to Parliament’s art collection to highlight Mr Hume’s important role in promoting peace and reconciliation to be recognized throughout Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle said: “John Hume was one of the true giants of Northern Ireland politics.

“As a champion of democracy in these islands and beyond, it was important to the House to ensure that Hume was finally represented in the collection.”

Completed earlier this summer, the painting is oil on canvas and measures 37 x 40 inches – in keeping with the artist’s commitment to large-scale, impactful work.

Davidson sat with the politician for more than two hours and made a series of sketches as Mr. Hume
read stories silent testimony – Davidson’s collection of portraits and stories of people affected by The Troubles.

These sketches formed the basis for the new composition.

Davidson said: “John meant so much to so many people on these islands. Without him we would not have peace in this part of the world, so it is fitting that this new portrait of John Hume now hangs in Westminster for people to visit and hopefully be inspired. I am grateful to both the committee – and of course the Hume family – for the privilege.” The portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume is to be hung in Westminster

Fry Electronics Team

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