Walls with Wounds is a landmark exhibition by Dale vN Marshall, a Coventry University Fine Art graduate.
Originally a graffiti artist spray-painting the walls of Bristol under the tag ‘Vermin’, Marshall was sectioned in 1999 in one of Britain’s oldest asylums, St Lawrence’s Hospital in Cornwall. Walls with Wounds draws inspiration not only from graffiti and Marshall’s time at St Lawrence’s, but also from his studio, a former Victorian workhouse in North Wales, its decaying walls inscribed by children over 100 years ago.
Each painting is inspired by a dramatic memory and represents a healing journey through physical destruction and repair. Marshall’s layered, multi-media works consist of a symbolic language of abstract expression and mark making. The result is a series of vibrant, powerful works documenting his personal journey from rebellion to rehabilitation.
Marshall strikes a balance between the frightening and the beautiful by accepting and embracing his past. These raw, emotive paintings show that hope and redemption are possible, whatever darkness may lie beneath our scars.
The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England, and disability arts development agency DASH as part of IN – Disability Arts in the Mainstream, a programme of five commissions which looks to enhance the profile of disability arts within mainstream galleries.