The Cross becomes a work of art at Truro Cathedral

Image caption 'Cathedral Works' enables visitors to see contemporary art in a religious context

The Cross is the most potent and revered religious symbol in Western art and culture.

It is this symbol that has become the subject of a new exhibition at Truro Cathedral.

Local artist Michael O'Donnell has installed 25 paintings, each of which depict a cross.

The show will start in Truro and remain there for a month before travelling to other cathedrals across Britain.

Mr O'Donnell has been working as an artist in West Cornwall for over 40 years, establishing a close working relationship with the previous generation of acclaimed Modernist artists, particularly the sculptor Denis Mitchell, painter John Wells, along with artists such as Breon O'Casey and Sir Terry Frost.

Using the limited means of the cross, a circle, a restricted palette and a square canvas Mr O'Donnell endeavours to move us towards a deeper and more spiritual understanding of Christ's sacrifice.

Mr O'Donnell explained that the future and travelling journey of these "Cathedral Works" paintings is as fragile as our own individual passage through life.

'Symbolic expression'

"In making each of these paintings I draw upon that deep well of symbolic expression surrounding the meaning of the Christian Cross, which has existed for over two thousand years."

"From the dark resesses of this wonderful cathedral, to have these colours coming out from the walls is marvellous.

"Although these paintings are actually quite large, in here in this vast space, they just absolutely disappear.

The artist has created a box set of the work, with all funds going directly to the cathedral.

When creating the works, Mr O'Donnell's own faith in God is at the forefront of his mind.

"It's a part of my life to such an extent that I cannot separate my life, my faith and my work."

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