Marshall (b. in 1974 Bath, UK) is a contemporary fine art painter currently residing in Bristol, England with spells of residency in Wales and most recently Ireland. A graduate of one of California’s finest art schools, California State University Long Beach (CSULB), and of Coventry University he has had numerous successful solo exhibitions in London and the USA, in particular his first major solo exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum Walls with Wounds (February-May) in 2014.
Marshall’s career began over twenty-five years ago as a precocious young graffiti artist on the streets of Bath and Bristol. Outside on brick and concrete walls, Marshall would paint his own rendition of poetry which challenged the graffiti stereotype under the moniker ‘VERMIN’ with bold biographical statements. To Marshall, the walls were sacred. They recorded his own personal journey and the words he wrote on them had power and enduring meaning. Marshall enjoyed this form of expressive freedom and youthful rebellion but it ultimately brought upon him the gritty consequences of street culture, which for Marshall led to drug use and psychotic episodes.
In 1999 he was sectioned in one of Britain’s oldest asylums commonly known as the Cornwall County (Lunatic) Asylum. He suffered clinical depression for another seven years until he self discharged from antipsychotic medication.
The walls from the street have now been replaced by inspiration of the crumbling walls of his former Victorian workhouse studio in rural Wales, mixed with his own biographical story and journey from the streets to 'post graffiti' on canvas. These walls and this building not only have inspired but have become an intrinsic part of his multimedia work and it is no coincidence that the building Marshall chose to work in has a strikingly similar environment to the institution in which he was forced to reside in Cornwall. Marshall continues to use text and his moniker from his graffiti days to form the body of all his paintings. The works are multi layered and heavily textured, utilising a variety of mediums and methods with a strong emphasis on the paint process and mark making.
Marshall's aims are to give the viewer a window to his soul and tormented past, a form of self portraiture where the graffiti is now portrayed in the form of a wound that is the starting point to create memorable tension where pain meets perfection and light just about overshadows darkness to create these compelling original works.
Marshall is proud to challenge the stigma about mental health by sharing and documenting his own personal experience of mental illness through his painting. He draws on past memories and emotions, each painting standing as a testament that with attention and nurturing cracks and chaos can be transformed into beauty and peace.
To view Marshall’s work one can perceive the pain and chaos the young artist experienced and yet it is this exact pain and chaos the artist now embraces. Each canvas is an attempt to reflect a balance of the frightening and the beautiful through instinctive mark making. Dale Marshall has had numerous successful solo exhibitions in London and the USA as well as outside walls around the world. His works are held in private and public collections worldwide.