13 September 2022

Talented artist and Mind Australia resident Daniel Coulson’s latest exhibition will showcase his signature charcoal portraits on cardboard.

Daniel’s ‘Boxed In’ exhibition will be held at the Dax Centre in Parkville, Victoria, from 14 September to 21 October, and will follow his sold-out maiden exhibition at St Kilda Town Hall Gallery in 2019.

“In this project I wanted to talk to people in my life, those who live in supported living, about their experiences with housing and mental health. They shared their stories and I captured their expressions in the box,” Daniel said.

“My art means a lot to me – it’s important. It connects me with others and puts me in the community. I know that not everyone is going to like it, but some will, and that’s the most important thing for me is sharing it. It’s important to feel connected.”

Daniel first began developing his talent as an artist by drawing on old pizza boxes at a Mind mental health housing with support service in Melbourne.

“With me and my art I was looking for something big to draw on. The only thing available was cardboard boxes, and the corrugated grooves made it difficult to get the shading and everything like that,” Daniel explained.

“I hated it at first, but I powered through and finished the portrait and I ended up really liking it. I ended up making my own imperfections; kicking and folding the cardboard. Little mistakes, little hiccups within a painting or life itself… it gives character and more interest – it becomes more relatable.

“I learnt through art that nothing is perfect, and if it is perfect then it’s usually boring. I wanted to get better at art but you have to stuff up and start again. Stuff up and start again - over and over. The more times you make those mistakes the better you get.”

Art has given Daniel added drive and purpose in his life, and he has also gained self-belief and confidence from having people admire his work.

Art and creative groups that help support mental health recovery are commonplace throughout Mind services across Australia. To learn more about Mind support services near you contact Mind Connect on 1300 286 463.

Boxed In is supported by Art Access Victoria and the City of Melbourne. Boxed In will officially open at the Dax Centre in Parkville on Thursday 15 September (6-8pm). Daniel’s exhibition can be viewed from Wednesday 14 September until Friday 21 October 2022. For more information visit the Dax Centre’s website.