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New online art exhibition features works created during Victoria's COVID-19 lockdown will raise money for mental health charities

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Media Release: 9 November 2020

A new online art exhibition featuring works created during Victoria's COVID-19 lockdown will raise money for mental health charities.

A new online exhibition opening for presale on 10.00am Monday 9 November, featuring works from 33 Australian artists, will raise funds for mental health charities SANE and The Dax Centre.

Artist Jacquie Lazzarotto (@jac.weave) is the creator of the New Day Sunrise collaborative exhibition fundraiser.  New Day Sunrise brings together a group of artists who have interpreted a sunrise photo from a series of pictures that Lazzarotto took every morning through Melbourne’s extended lockdown.

The artworks will be sold in a virtual online exhibition that celebrates each new day, even through a period of time where days blurred and motivation, purpose and focus became so hard to maintain.

All artists have donated their time to create the new artworks for the exhibition fundraiser. All proceeds from the artwork sales will be donated to SANE and The Dax Centre. The artists are aiming to raise a total of $25,000.

“Collectively, we wanted to align with a charity bringing hope, support and tools to people with lived experience of mental health issues in a really positive way. We particularly love SANE’s work at The Dax Centre, and as artists, thoroughly believe in the power of art to support mental health.”

“Mental health awareness is a conversation creeping into every facet of our daily lives as we all navigate through restrictions, isolation, uncertainty and losses of identity and purpose through COVID-19 and in particular, Melbourne’s really tough lockdown.”

“I believe we are now all connected to mental health issues and choosing to fundraise for SANE and The Dax Centre was an obvious decision for us because it offers a holistic approach and its support services are available to both people with their own lived experience and family members and carers.”

“The ramifications of Melbourne’s extended lockdown on all our mental outlook cannot be underestimated and SANE’s goal to reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding these issues is so poignant right now.”

“SANE’s work at The Dax Centre is also pivotal to our choice because as artists we cannot emphasis enough how important creativity can be as inspiration, rehabilitation and expressions of thought & feelings.  We are particularly keen to support the new Studio Dax mentoring program as this will provide new and important creative opportunities to emerging artists with lived experience of mental health issues,” Lazzarotto says.

The Dax Centre Director, Charmaine Smith is thrilled that the New Day Sunrise exhibition fundraiser is supporting SANE and The Dax Centre.

“We are thrilled to be part of this inspiring and innovative exhibition fundraiser.  We know how hard the extended lockdown has been on Victorians and this collaborative artist response strongly illustrates the power of art to provide hope and resilience during a difficult time”

“We are incredibly grateful to all of the artists for the time and energy they have contributed to this exhibition.  And we also thank everyone who purchases an artwork, please know that not only are you buying an incredible piece of art but you are also helping us to reduce stigma and discrimination towards mental health issues,” Smith says.

To buy artworks and see the exhibition visit or view works on Instagram @newday__sunrise

Anyone looking for information, support and guidance from mental health professionals can contact the SANE Help Centre on 1800 187 263 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from 10am to 10pm AEST Monday to Friday.  For anyone in crisis, please call:


To request an interview with Artist Jacquie Lazzarotto or the Director of The Dax Centre Charmaine Smith, please contact:
Bronwyn Miller, Media Coordinator
Phone: 0438 092 371
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Dax Centre provides artists with lived experience of mental health issues opportunities for creative expression while fostering social change by expanding the public’s awareness of mental illness and breaking down stigma through art.

Founded in 2012, but with a history spanning back to the 1940’s, The Dax Centre is the premier exhibition space and education centre of its kind in Melbourne.  The Dax Centre is proud to support a diverse group of talented artists realise their creative dreams and break down stigma through our education and public programs.

Through our exhibitions and educational programs we engage, inform and encourage conversations about mental health through art.

The centre is named after Dr Eric Cunningham Dax AO, and his pioneering work to develop mental health care and improve the quality of live for those living with mental illness. The Cunningham Dax Collection is an important art collection of national significance and is on the Victorian Heritage Register. It is the only one of its type in Australia, and one of only four of its kind in the world.

About SANE

SANE is a national mental health charity dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues. SANE’s vision is for an Australia where people affected by complex mental health issues live long and fulfilling lives, free from stigma and discrimination.

Last updated: 29 April 2022

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