The Cunningham Dax Collection was established in 1987 with a series of works in the possession of psychiatrist Dr Eric Cunningham Dax.

Produced by patients of Victorian mental institutions between the 1950s and 1980s, these works assisted psychiatrists and medical teams with diagnosis.

Today, the Dax Collection also encompasses the work of many contemporary artists with an experience of mental illness and psychological trauma, and advocates the potential of arts practices in the management of mental health and wellbeing.

Many individuals now practice informal and formal forms of art therapy. Whilst some produce works in settings with a practicing art therapist, for others, creative art practices have become a form of self-expression, empowerment or reflection of one’s internal world.

As the union of art and therapy continues to evolve, it is clear that art making and these creative processes have the potential to enhance our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, to connect with a deeper part of ourselves and to integrate the human experience.