Arhab Bik Bialhabi | I Welcome You With Love (2020)
LOCATION Albion Park, corner of Lachlan & Grenfell Streets, Forbes
This sculpture symbolises many things. The male and female figures proudly hold aloft a pomegranate between their hands representing loyalty, love and welcome.
“In my country of birth Iraq, and throughout the Middle Eastern culture and history, the pomegranate fruit is particularly revered. It is often fund in people's homes as a sign of welcome and hospitality to visitors."
"This sculpture also represents the powerful sense of belonging and the beauty of freedom that I have experienced since being welcomed into my new home of Australia” - Ayad Alqaragholli.
About the Sculptor
Ayad Alqaragholli (Perth, WA)
Ayad Alqaragholli was an established and acclaimed artist in the Middle East before coming to Australia as an immigrant with his young family in 2005.
Ayad’s work is a documentary on what he observes in his daily life. The figures are built on two things – form and idea, narrative and beauty.
“I connect the two different cultures of Samaria and Australia in my artwork which reflects the old world and the new world, so I adapt the old to become new and reflect this in what I produce. My memory carries a lot of observations from my childhood through to my new homeland and peace in Australia... some things are sad and some things are happy and ending with peace. In the past my artwork meant sadness and in the present it means peace.”
Ayad uses a range of materials in his artwork, but primarily uses bronze as it has the “smell of history”.
Ayad has exhibited extensively internationally; often in the Middle East, in particular Jordan and Baghdad for more than twenty years and is known for his large-scale public art projects.