On Saturday, the 15th of February, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry, opened a solo show entitled Walls With Wounds by Dale vN Marshall. This is a landmark exhibition for the Wales-based contemporary fine artist that was formerly known as the graffiti artist Vermin on the streets of his hometown of Bath and Bristol.

The works for this exhibition are inspired by the crumbling walls of his former Victorian studio, as well as his time in one of Britain’s oldest asylums, and also contain elements of his graffiti background. This complexity of influences can be seen upon closer inspection of his multi layered works – the graffiti text as the base, combined with various materials from oil paint, threads, cloth, and particles to actual parts of the walls of his studio, all intertwined through a heavily emotive process. The mixture of these diverse mediums and elements results in strong, vibrant works that balance between frightening and beautiful, and are “documenting his personal journey from rebellion to rehabilitation.” With his practice, the artist is capturing and accepting the scars and marks of the past, and by combining and layering them together, turns them into paintings that can be enjoyed both as complex stories or stand alone pieces of art. The works carry a lot of significance and emotions for the artist as raw physical evidence of his mental and emotional state, with the goal to “break the public’s negative perception and stigma of mental health issues by sharing his experience through contemporary painting.” The works from are the ultimate example of such efforts, and are the right channel for Marshall to tell his story. The show is on view at the museum until the 18th of May.