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Born in Winnipeg, Dawn Dudek moved to Toronto where she became a graduate and scholar of the Ontario College of Art. Dawn had her first solo exhibition in Toronto in 1993. The press coverage she received for this photographic installation included a live interview with CBC television, and led to a position as jr. art director for MAC cosmetics. Steering her career into the then new area of computer graphics, Dawn joined TOPIX/Mad Dog studio as director of broadcast animation. During these years Dawn partnered with award winning directors and animators to create leading edge broadcast design and animation for clients including Paramount Pictures, MTV and General Mills foods. Dawn moved to online media by joining Maclaren McCann Interactive (MMI) as an art director creating web content for clients such as Nesquik and General Motors until 2001. Dawn’s signature designs and illustrations are highly sought after for their innovative and striking appeal. As an artist she continues to evolve, first by bringing an art background into computer graphincs, and now by using her experience in computer animation to develop her ideas in the traditional medium of painting. Dawn has exhibited her Filmscape paintings throughout France, Spain, Monaco, and twice at the prestigious Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris: 2008 as an independent and 2009 as part of the Canadian delegation. Following her solo exhibition in May 2010, presented by Cannes Cinema at the 63rd FESTIVAL DE CANNES, Dawn exhibited in Italy for the first time. Her 6 week solo exhibition in Florence opened November 21, 2011.

The following is a commentary written by the artist describing her filmscape paintings. “For many years I have liked the look of film stills, and my experience in computer animation has made me even more interested in exploring the single removed from the whole. When selecting frames, I prefer to concentrate on the interpretation of the still within the context of my specific themes, as opposed to the relevance of the frame within the original narrative. Splitting and duplicating the composition is one of the most interesting aspects of my work. While making the subject matter more dynamic, it also represents the passage of time, the subjective recollection of memories and more literally the film frames frozen between one and the next.”


A pause for reflection. Filmscapes is a body of work born out if how the artist is emotionally engaged with, and aesthetically informed by what she sees, her immediate landscape being replete with moving images and film. With a background in animation and computer graphics, Dudek’s relationship to the screen has always been an intimate one. Through the juxtaposition of personal memories and cinematic imagery, like a line running parallel between the narrative of the film and her own experiences, or literally running through the painting between its composite split, her paintings touch on several themes central to the experience of contemporary life. Firstly, our internal repository of memorable images is a composite of real and constructed, fact and fiction, and our emotional engagement with cinema and art influences us just as powerfully as real life. Secondly, memories tend to hinge on one central defining image, and are often static like a still, but on recollection no two are ever exactly the same, and how we remember things depends on how we are feeling. Many of the works capture motion suspended: women running (M. escapes to dream, William in pursuit), couples falling (Fire and Ice), or poised before a kiss (Secreto, Saving Clementine). Just as the narrative of a film is conveyed through a sequence of moving images, these paintings are an exploration of how a single moment from the world of a film can resonate beyond that microcosm with your own personal and emotional history. There is something arresting about these filmscapes, pulled from the sequence of narrative and re-contextualised within the group of paintings. Just as memories are fluid and dynamic, these stills are not defining moments in the film but points at which things could progress either way, mid-action where the before and after is unknown. The paintings possess qualities that go beyond the literal interpretation of a still to the themes they connect with: they give pause for reflection. Mirrors, doors, and windows are constantly recurring signifiers; foreheads in the rear view mirror, eyes looking at you through the windscreen, faces looking out from the bathroom mirror caught in a moment of intimacy. Crucially these paintings are not two fragments of stills in sequence, but one that has been cut up and reconfigured according to the internal balance of the composition. Whilst this physically engages the viewer by drawing their eyes up and down between the two parts, which have a certain element of crossover but no actual repetition, it draws them back into the wider theme of memory as something fluid. This is further developed in her larger pieces, diptychs, which tell the same story from different perspectives. In the aptly named ‘Nothing happens, twice’ the same scene is reconstructed from the masculine and the feminine perspective and set side by side, again engaging the viewer in a dialogue between the two and highlighting the subtle but impenetrable differences between them. A Hopperesque loneliness pervades the scene, punctuated by the empty mirror behind them, like a blank canvas, inviting you to place your own impression there. Nico Kos Earle


Waiting 2008 / Acrylic on canvas / 116 x 89 cm


Meeting up on the field 2007 / Acrylic on canvas / 100 x 81 cm


The twilight of Cathy Whitaker 2006 / Acrylic on canvas / 100 x 81 cm


Su waiting for Chow 2006 / Acrylic on canvas / 100 x 81 cm



Filmscapes by Dawn Dudek