Current Work / Exhibitions
Connections with The Dax Centre, Melbourne
Donation of Works to the Permanent Collection
Having had a long experience of periodic depression I had been aware for some time of the work of The Dax Centre in Melbourne and its extensive artwork collection.
Psychiatrist Dr Cunningham Dax originally commenced the collection in the UK in 1946 as an offshoot of his work with people affected by depression and other personality disorders; it now contains over 15,000 items and is now located in the Kenneth Myer Building at Melbourne University, site of the University’s Brain Centre.
In 2011 I approached the Dax Centre to discuss the possibility of donating artworks to the collection. They agreed in principle and a final selection of 65 works was acquired in 2015. The works chosen were a representative range of works on paper, paintings and ceramic sculptures covering a period of some forty years from 1975 to the present.
Images Placed in Outside Publications
A pleasing development, through the auspices of the Dax Centre, has been the placement, in publications of outside organisations concerned with mental health, of several images of works of mine from the Dax Collection.
My work Freedom (2007) was featured on the cover of the April 2016 issue of Australasian Psychiatry, the journal of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, which has also expressed interest in including other works in later issues.
Currently the Department of Health in Victoria is negotiating with the Dax Centre the possible inclusion of three more works as full page illustrations in the First Annual Report on Mental Health Services in Victoria, now being developed for public distribution.
The Dax Centre, Melbourne. 9 May-21 September, 2013
A number of my paintings were included in this group exhibition — to view follow the link below:—
The Dax Centre, Melbourne. Opening 23 October, 2014
A solo exhibition of my work had been scheduled for October to December 2014 but has had to be postponed indefinitely due to constraints on the Centre's spending in the current economic climate.
However, the Centre presented a group exhibition of works from its collection to coincide with the international conference Contemporary Outsider Art — The Global Context . Raw Emotions ran from 23 October to 21 February 2015 and I was one of nine artists featured, my contribution consisting of a series of ten Self Portrait pencil drawings and two paintings.
Unfortunately no publishable images of these works currently exist — they will be uploaded as soon as they become available.
A MIND BEGINNING TO KNOW ITSELF
The Dax Centre, Melbourne. 11 November 2015 - 24 June, 2016
A Mind Beginning to Know Itself presented both past and present interpretations and expressions of depression using works from the Cunningham Dax Collection. It showcased new additions to the Cunningham Dax Collection, such as my own ceramics series Faces of 1982, and Petra White’s poem Magnolia Tree, in exploring an illness where our understanding of its causes, symptoms and treatments continue to evolve.
Investigating how personal expressions of depression can allow the broader community to further appreciate the breadth of experience that occurs alongside, A Mind Beginning to Know Itself also illustrated that for many, the use of art can become a therapeutic practice that can assist with recovery.
To view individual images of my seven ceramic 'mask' faces see Index Numbers 59 - 65 in the slideshow of works included in the Dax Centre permanent collection.
My association with the Dax Centre has been invaluable in helping me return to painting after some very difficult years and I look forward to its being a continuing impetus to the development of my art practice into the future.
© elizabeth turnbull 2013