The Dax Centre provides artists with lived experience of mental health issues opportunities for creative expression while fostering social change by expanding the public’s awareness of mental health issues and reducing stigma through art. Founded in 2010, but with a history spanning back to the 1940’s, The Dax Centre is the premier gallery and education centre of its kind in Australia. We work with emerging artists with lived experience of mental health issues, providing a safe and supportive environment for the artists to exhibit their work, develop their art practice and raise the public’s awareness of these artist’s important cultural contributions. We deliver education programs to secondary and tertiary students that inspire young people, expand their understanding of mental health issues and break down stigma. Through our exhibitions and educational programs, we engage, inform and encourage conversations about mental health through art. We challenge stigma towards mental health issues and start conversations that advance the understanding of mental health issues and build empathy.
Cunningham Dax Collection
The Dax Centre houses the Cunningham Dax Collection of art, one of only four collections of its kind in the world and the only Collection of its size and type in Australia.
The history of The Dax Centre is linked with the story of The Cunningham Dax Collection. The Collection was started by Dr Eric Cunningham Dax during the 1940s when he became interested in the art made by people with a lived experience of mental health issues and while he was working in the UK. Dr Dax is credited with being one of the first psychiatrists in the world to see the potential in utilizing art for promoting better health for people living with mental health issues. This Collection of over 16,000 artistic works produced by people with a lived experience of mental health issues or psychological trauma, includes works created at Victoria’s psychiatric hospitals during the 1950s-1980s, and more recently through community programs or within artists’ own studios.
Support is available by calling.
Lifeline 13 11 14, lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636