Current Exhibitions

Healing Ways: Art with Intent

Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 11.43.28 AM15 May – 17 October 2014

While the cultural, aesthetic and economic benefits of the Australian Aboriginal art industry have been well documented, this exhibition seeks to explore contemporary Indigenous arts practice as a site of healing and a resource for emotional wellbeing. Artworks will be revealed as a source of resilience and cultural strength, as well as a medium to address the intergenerational effects of trauma experienced by Aboriginal people throughout a history of colonisation and dispossession.

The exhibition is presented as part of a larger project investigating the emotional aspects of Aboriginal art and its potential for healing among Aboriginal communities. The exhibition, along with a symposium and web-based resource, have been developed through extensive consultation with community leaders and experts in the field.

Artists include Billy Benn, Maree Clarke, Bindi Cole, Vicki Couzens, Lee Darroch, Robyne Latham, Sally M Mulda, Yhonnie Scarce, Patsy Smith, Dennis Thorpe, Peter Waples-Crowe and Lisa Waup along with works from community art workshops in Victoria, Papunya and the Kimberley.

Artwork: Yhonnie Scarce, Burial Ground (detail), 2011, glass, perspex, 97 x 206 x 81 cm, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Raw Emotion: Contemporary and Historic Works from the Cunningham Dax Collection

Until February 2015 A selection of artworks will form a survey exhibition of the Cunningham Dax Collection, a collection of over 15,000 artworks created by people with a lived experience of mental illness or trauma. Within the exhibition, the Collection’s most recent acquisitions, donated by artists within the last two years, will share the gallery space with the Collection’s most historic works, created in psychiatric hospitals and institutions in the 1950s and 1960s, collected by psychiatrist and founder of The Dax Centre, Dr Eric Cunningham Dax. The works will reflect both the historic foundation of the Collection, along with it’s continued engagement with artists and community groups today.

Employing diverse media and techniques, the contemporary and historic works reveal the artists’ raw emotional experiences, often using the physical body in various forms of self-portraiture. These works are a testament to the enduring importance of creativity, self-reflection, and the power of the subconscious. Included in the contemporary acquisitions are artists David Apostol; Alison Colvin; Graeme Doyle; Rebecca Duke; Kallena Kucers; Emma McEvoy; John Puli; Ruth Rich; and Elizabeth Turnbull.