The Door In The Dark

The Door In The Dark: Selected Works From The Cunningham Dax Collection.

We all have an inner life, a quiet and evocative space where we visualise our dreams and concerns.

This exhibition explores the way in which art has provided the artists a means by which they can explore their interior worlds, and changing mental states, as well as a means by which to find a release from that interior. These artworks give viewers an insight into the minds of the artists and in so doing promote empathy and understanding.

These art works have been produced in many different contexts, from institutional settings to the private homes of artists, and encompass a range of psychological experiences, including solitude, calmness, joy and contemplation, as well as turmoil and suffering. These experiences are common to all of us in varying degrees.

The Door in the Dark features highlights from the Cunningham Dax Collection. The works have been made in various contexts; from the Collection’s earliest artworks made in Victoria’s psychiatric hospitals between the 1950s and the 1980s, through to its most recent acquisitions, made by professional artists in their studios.


The Dax Centre

The Dax Centre is a multifaceted not-for-profit organisation that explores the fascinating interface between art and the mind. The Dax Centre’s mission is to promote mental health and wellbeing by fostering a greater understanding of the mind, mental illness and trauma through art and creativity.

The Dax Centre, located in the Kenneth Myer Building on the University of Melbourne campus off Royal Parade, Melbourne, houses the Cunningham Dax Collection, which comprises 15,000 artworks by people with experience of mental illness or trauma. The collection is one of the three largest of its kind in the world.



Exhibition8 – 13 Oct 2001

Stitched Up

Textile works from The Cunningham Dax Collection of Psychiatric Art are exhibited for the very first time.   This rare collection of…