POPE Benedict XVI’s first visit to Australia will include a private viewing of Richard Campbell’s artwork.

Richard, an Aboriginal artist from the Gumbaingirr/Dunghutti people, has been handpicked to have his work on display in Sydney for World Youth Day in July next year.

Some of his work will also be used in merchandising for the event.

Richard, who calls Kempsey home, brings together traditional Aboriginal culture and the Catholic faith in his artwork.

World Youth Day is the Catholic Church’s week of events for youth.

Thousands of young people from around the world gather to celebrate and learn about the Catholic faith and to build bridges of friendship and hope between continents, peoples and cultures.

Richard’s Fourteen Stations of the Cross, The Madonna, The Crucifixion and The Resurrection will be used on merchandise for the expected 225,000 registered pilgrims for WYD08.

My work depicts stories of my journey, my sisters’ journey, my family’s journey and it can reflect anyone’s journey through life, the father of three said.

My story turned around from a sad thing to a good thing. I am working on a few other artworks at the moment including what happened in the boy’s home.