Dale vN Marshall’s latest exhibition aims to help to raise awareness of mental health in the young, drawing inspiration from the time he spent painting and talking with teenagers in Edinburgh who live with conditions such as anxiety, ADHD, autism and circumstantial trauma.
Originally a graffiti artist who sprayed paint on the streets of Bristol under the tag ‘Vermin’, Marshall was once sectioned in one of Britain’s oldest psychiatric hospitals, St Lawrence’s in Cornwall. He draws inspiration not only from his graffiti days, but also from his time at St Lawrence’s and from his studio in a former Victorian workhouse in Wales, redolent of suffering and poverty.
In advance of the exhibition, Marshall arranged to work with performance poet, Jenny Lindsay and Edinburgh-based theatre company, The Acting Scene, in order to stimulate a shared experience and raise awareness of mental trauma.
The emotions expressed were remarkable with the children commenting…we have to play roles in life to get by and I have a lot of thoughts but I’m afraid I’ll be put down.
The concept of being listened to but not being heard was a strong component of Dale’s time with these teenagers. What they chose to reveal about their lives and Marshall’s own experiences come together to produce a powerful and emotional body of work.
Marshall’s multi-media work consists of a symbolic language of abstract expression, text and mark-making. This new body of work explores heavy mark making with elements from the children’s poetry and graffiti text, shining a light on our innermost thoughts and feelings.
“What came across loud and clear during the time we spent with the youngsters is that they all seemed to feel that they were heard but not listened to and that they were unique” Vanessa Brodrick VB Fine Art
Marshall previously received much acclaim with his highly successful Walls with Wounds solo museum show at the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery. It sold out within hours and attracted over 8,000 visitors, reducing many to tears.
This exhibition is part of the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival programme.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR Wednesday 3rd August – Saturday 3rd September 2016 Opening Reception: Wednesday 3rd August, 6.30-8.30pm