In Memoriam

Edward Dyas 

In Black And White 

By Roger and Carmela Arturi Phillips

From an early age, Edward loved working with pencil (graphite) and paper. He quickly mastered the art of pencil drawing and won the Faber-Castell Award for Drawing Excellence twice at National (Australia) level and twice at International level.

It was a skill he used throughout his life. From the lightening sketches for friends, to the trying out of various facial expressions, to the intricate work for commissions and show entries. No matter how obvious or unobtrusive, he always signed ‘E.Dyas‘ on the front. 

(private collection)

Sometimes one needed a magnifying glass to spot it!

We ourselves commissioned two graphite drawings from him. His drawing of the Queen Mother as a child aged seven (2004) was exhibited at The Mall Gallery in London in 2011 in the Royal Miniatures
Special Loan Exhibition.

Queen Mother
Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon
9,5 x 6,5 cm / 3,7 x 2,6 ”
© Private Collection

It drew public praise from HM the Prince of Wales in his Preface to the accompanying catalogue. Teasing Edward with a partial quote from the narrative, which he had not yet seen ‘… I am also delighted to see the exquisitely rendered pencil portrait of my grandmother …‘, we expected a thrilled reply. Sadly, not even praise from the Heir to the British Throne could raise him from his deep depression.

Later in 2011, we received a box from Edward unexpectedly. ‘Well, here is a ‘gift box’ for you….. the rough graphite sketches are taken from various sources…some 60 year old references….others imaginative. They are safer in your hands than mine as I tend to trash work like this when I am down and depressed …
Do with them as you wish …

Hugs, Edward.’

It was a far cry from the ebullient Edward that we met up with when we visited his new home in Tasmania in the early 2000’s; a small hut, of one room, in acres of forest, which he later enlarged.

11,5 x 8,5 cm / 4,5 x 3,3″
© Private Collection

7 x 8,5 cm / 3,3 x 2,8″
© Private Collection

At the time, he had just moved from Melbourne with his ‘love of my life‘ partner. He explained that they had no bathroom yet and asked to use the facilities in the house we had rented for our stay, adding ‘we will bring our own rubber ducks and towels!‘ Little did they know that the one bathroom in our rented property had a panoramic window behind the bath/cum shower, poorly occluded by patterned glass, and no doubt startling motorists driving past when in use!

Served Chilled
13,5 x 8,5 cm / 5,3 x 3,3″
Private Collection

Senior Citizen
14,8 x 8,5 cm / 5,8 x 3,3″
Private Collection

This was one of the happiest periods in Edward‘s life. At the height of his artistic powers and with support from his partner, he was able to win many International Awards for his art and sell his work through various galleries. However, his relationship was not enduring and when he was left alone some years later, he did not cope well. He produced no new work after 2011.

11,75 x 8,5 cm / 4,6 x 3,3″
Private Collection

Sixty Nine
11,75 x 8,5 cm / 4,6 x 3,3″
Private Collection

10 x 8 cm / 3,9 x 3,1″
(Private Collection)

Save The Best For Last
10 x 14 cm / 3,9 x 5,5″
(Private Collection)

Edward Dyas • Australian Artist • 1956 – 2013

If you like to see more exquisit miniatures of Edward Dyas you can find them on the ICMA website here:

Artist in Focus: Edward Dyas


Pastel Miniatures: Edward Dyas