Some of Conrad Atkinsons historic and unique works about Northern Ireland have been requested by Hillsborough Castle the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen in Belfast.
Atkinson who is currently in his Cumbrian Studios in the UK is emeritus Professor at the University of California. He was born in Cleator Moor.
The works requested are studies for his portrait of Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams executed in 2010 now in the National Portrait Gallery London to some controversy a few years ago and a large section of his New Northern Ireland Wallpaper depicting the iconic image of Ian Paisley and Martin Mc Guiness laughing together at their first joint meeting, commissioned by the Royal Operahouse Belfast some years ago. both have been widely exhibited to both acclaim and condemnation.
Atkinson has many works on show in many places and in the UK in Barrow in Furness, MIMA in Middlesbrough and 11 Downing Street amongst others.
He said: "I’m fairly astonished as much of my work was banned in Northern Ireland for thirty years."
Most of the works are now in the Tate Gallery London and Wolverhampton City Art Gallery.
He added: "I think the best statement about my many years of engagement with Northern Ireland and its issues was by Mairtin O Muilleoir Lord Mayor of Belfast & past Finance Minister of Northern Ireland: Conrad Atkinson was to pop art what the Sex Pistols were to punk rock: the first to the barricades, the rebellious iconoclast, the knife to the gut.
"Only a super artist like him he could have taken on that most kryptonite of subjects: Britain’s corrosive role in the North of Ireland. And yet he did so with a swagger and a derring-do which outraged the comfortable and comforted the afflicted. 40-plus years on, it’s worth noting that his compelling love letters from Ireland have been vindicated by peace talks, ceasefires and a powersharing parliament. And they say art can’t save lives. It did here, courtesy of Conrad."