The Dax Centre is a not-for-profit art gallery that houses the Cunningham Dax Collection. This collection comprises over 15,000 artworks made by people who have experienced mental illness and psychological trauma. All exhibitions at The Dax Centre bring a focus to the emotions, mental health and wellbeing, by exploring the interface between art, creativity and the mind. 

 

I co-curated the following exhibitions with a range of mental health professionals. My role was to bring an arts perspective to the exhibitions, to undertake all practical curatorial tasks including condition reporting, framing and installation, as well as guiding the exhibition design, exhibition text and methods of display. It was also my role to produce content for the catalogues, including extended catalogue essays, and also to write the publicity text.

 

The Emotional World of Children

The Dax Centre

26 September 2013 – 28 January 2014

 

 

Co-curated with Dr. Pia Brous

 

This exhibition explored the emotional world of the child by showcasing a selection of artworks created by children in psychoanalytical psychotherapy sessions with renowned child psychotherapist Margaret Ericksen between the 1940s and 1980s. A variety of psychiatric disturbances were surveyed, whilst the importance of play, family and fairy-tales were also examined. The exhibition featured artifacts from the Royal Children's Hospital and a documentary film, produced as part of the project, on the history and practice of child psychotherapy in Australia.

 

 

http://www.theweeklyreviewmelbournetimes.com.au/story/1790766/art-for-heart-s-sake/

Hide and Seek: Self-Portraits from the Cunningham Dax Collection

The Dax Centre

1 February – 23 June 2012

 

 

Co-curated with Dr. Anna Takács

 

Hide and Seek explored the tension between what is revealed and what is concealed in self-portraiture. This exhibition brought together 56 self-portraits, including works on paper, sculpture and textiles. Traversing the allusive and fluctuating territory of self-perception, Hide and Seek brought forth totem creatures, symbolic incarnations, monstrous visions and palpable internal pain. This exhibition emphasised the multiplicity and mutability of the self, tackled mortality head-on and examined the relationship between interiority and the physical self.

 

 

http://www.latrobe.vic.gov.au/About_Council/Media_and_Publications/Latest_News/Mental_health_awareness_promoted_through_art

 

http://artingeelong.com/2012/10/11/hide-and-seek-exhibition/

 

 

Out of the Dark: the Emotional Legacy of the Holocaust

 The Dax Centre

21 October 2009 – 23 January 2010

 

 

Co-curated with Gail Rockman

 

This exhibition explored the continuing physical and psychological effects of the Holocaust on three generations of survivors. 

 

This exhibition was the culmination of a collaborative project between the Jewish Holocaust Centre and The Dax Centre. The project included the acquisition of over 100 artworks made by Holocaust survivors, involving extended interviews with each of the twenty artists about their experience of the Holocaust.

 

When confronting the subject of the Holocaust the darkness is overwhelming. But when I met and began working with the artists, I was struck by their strength, perseverance, hope and positivity.

 

 

http://communities.deakin.edu.au/deakincreative/files/fileshare6/OutoftheDark1.pdf

 

Image: Michelle Fox, People I should have known and people I should have known better, 2009 (detail)

 

 

Beyond the Three Trees

The Dax Centre

13 November 2008–9 April 2009

 

 

Co-curated with Dr. Tracy Spinks

 

This exhibition presented a selection of 'three-tree-tests', produced by psychiatric patients at the point of admission to Royal Park Hospital in the 1960s. These drawings were used to assess the patients' character and state of mind, a now outmoded practice. These works were presented alongside contemporary paintings and drawings of trees from the Cunningham Dax Collection. The personal, anthropomorphic and symbolic significance of the tree was explored. 

 

 

Image: Installation shot from Orange Regional Gallery, 2008

 

Selected Touring Exhibitions 2011 - 2014

 

As Exhibitions Manager at The Dax Centre, I initiated and delivered the following touring exhibition program, which included multidisciplinary public programs organised in collaboration with local communities. 

 

2014   

Healing Childhood Trauma

G3 Gallery, Parkdale

23 April – 21 May

 

Reverie

The Warehouse, Clunes

May - June

 

Hide and Seek: Self-Portraits from the Cunningham Dax Collection

Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery

16 August – 26 October

 

 

2013

Hide and Seek: Self-Portraits from the Cunningham Dax Collection

LaTrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell

23 March – 19 May

 

Out of the Dark: the Emotional Legacy of the Holocaust

Yarra Ranges Regional Museum

13 July – 15 September

 

Selected Works from the Cunningham Dax Collection

Melbourne Exhibition Centre

21-23 August

 

Selected Works from the Cunningham Dax Collection

Shibuya Hikari-e Building, Tokyo

4 – 12 July

 

The Door in the Dark

RMIT Gallery, Melbourne

3 September – 19 October

 

Selected Works from the Cunningham Dax Collection 

Edenhope Secondary College

7 – 13 October

 

 

2012

Picturing Mother and Child

Sunraysia Ethnic Communities Council, Mildura

7 March – 4 June

 

Hide and Seek: Self Portraits from the Cunningham Dax Collection

Gordon Gallery, Geelong

3 October – 26 October

 

Melancholia

Arts Space Wodonga

1 October - 26 October

 

Out of the Dark: the Emotional Legacy of the Holocaust

Migration Museum, Adelaide  

25 August – 11 November

 

 

2011

Healing Childhood Trauma

Monash Medical Centre

7 April – 9 June

 

Youth, Interrupted

Gordon Gallery, Geelong

16 May – 6 June

 

Selected Works from the Cunningham Dax Collection

Australian Embassy, Washington DC

4 November – 2 December

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Juliette Hanson 2020