New commission for Our Lady of Southern Cross painter

Dural, NSW, artist, Paul Newton, has been commissioned to create 35 paintings for the chapel at the Domus Australia pilgrim house which is to be Rome's first ever centre for Australian pilgrims.

In addition to the paintings he has been commissioned to provide a new interpretation of his acclaimed 2008 portrait of Our Lady of the Southern Cross as well as portraits of outstanding pioneers of the Church such as Caroline Chisholm, Father Therry, Dame Mary Kate Barlow, Blessed Mary MacKillop and founder of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Archbishop Polding, Catholic Communications Sydney reports.

The 47 year old award winning artist will also paint portraits of Pope John II and Mother Theresa and other outstanding figures in international Catholicism with strong ties to Australia. The series of paintings will include depictions of the original St Mary's Chapel which later became St Mary's Cathedral, as well as the first celebration of Mass in Australia.

When completed the 35 paintings will adorn the altars and walls of the chapel inside the Australia House complex in Rome.

Australia House or Domus Australia, as it is known in Italy has been acquired by the Catholic Church. Set up to offer reasonably priced accommodation to between 80 and 90 Australian pilgrims, Australia House will also provide a daily Mass in English in its chapel along with up to date information on Papal events and on the Church in general.

"Australia House will be a religious and cultural centre and will strengthen the links between our distant land and the Diocese of St Peter's successor, the Pope," Sydney Cardinal George Pell says. "It will also provide an opportunity for visitors to Rome to learn more about the history of the Church and the many places they should make sure they see while in Rome."

Paul Newton has won many awards across Australia and the USA and has been a frequent finalist in Sydney's hotly contested Archibald Prize. In 2002 he took out the People's Choice award with his portrait of comedians, Roy and HG, alias John Doyle and Greig Pickhaver.

Mr Newton also created a portrait of Our Lady of the Southern Cross for World Youth Day 2008.

The image brought Paul international acclaim and now hangs in St Mary's Cathedral.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross was patron of WYD08 and the unveiling and blessing of the painting by Pope Benedict XVI marked the beginning of the five day celebrations in July last year.


Sydney Artist To Create 35 Paintings For Rome (Catholic Communications, Sydney)



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