Charcoal Drawings by Ange Dudman

3 Comments | November 19, 2009

Ange Dudman - Construction

Construction by Ange Dudman

Recently I had the good fortune of being contacted by New Zealand artist Ange Dudman, who shared with me a number of her charcoal drawings that I’m delighted to share with you now.  Ange, 31, finished her Bachelor’s in Visual Art & Design at EIT Hawke’s Bay (see it on a map) after leaving life in the corporate world at Cadbury Confectionary in Auckland.  She now lives in rural New Zealand, may take up art teaching and is considering pursuing her Master’s.

My first impressions of these drawings was that they possessed some of the same qualities as old childhood memories: distant but laden with emotion.  Things aren’t exactly in focus, but rather a bit faded and blurry, but the mood and feeling is very much present.  As is the case with the human psyche in general, what these drawings convey and communicate is complex and multi-dimensional.  I’m reminded of those early memories that will sometimes bubble up into consciousness for no apparent reason, random snapshots in time that have meaning not in content but in feeling.

In the artist’s own words:

… to me they also speak of fading memories, of loss and very much of silence. There is also for me a sense of disconnection from the works as some of the images used are from my own past and I often wonder if I remember the actual event or if my only memory of it is encased in the photograph, and all the details leading up to and after are lost or irrelevant.

People have often commented to me on recognizing their memories in the works, such as in Outside, the resounding opinion is dull, rainy saturday or sunday afternoon, hours to wait until dinner and sleep…

Ange Dudman - Outside

Outside by Ange Dudman

I guess the works may have intrinsic power as they feature images of children or childhood, but not in the standard cute or pretty format, nor with any intention or imagery set to disturb or shock. My intention for the viewer is that the works are quiet but not restful, they are familiar but distant and they provoke far more questions than they can answer. I think they achieve this. There is a notion here in New Zealand, of a cultural mood called the “New Zealand Gothic” (not to be confused with the Goth trend or fashion). This is based on early european immigration into a hard land, the dark, the cold, formal and the unspoken (think the movie The Piano etc.) the undercurrent of violence and hardship. I guess these artworks fit here also in dealing with children but not the childlike.

I think that’s a perfect way to describe these drawings: “quiet but not restful, they are familiar but distant and they provoke far more questions than they can answer.”  I think they achieve this as well.

If you are interested to learn more about “New Zealand Gothic” (something I hadn’t previously heard of), check out this article on Art & Australia on the topic.

Thanks to Ange for sharing her work with me; unfortunately I cannot link to a website, but hopefully we will see more of her work in the future.  In the meantime, tell us what you think in the comments section.

Ange Dudman - Curtsy

Curtsy by Ange Dudman

Ange Dudman - How You Said It Would Be

How You Said It Would Be by Ange Dudman

Ange Dudman - Courtesy On Stairs

Courtesy on Stairs by Ange Dudman

Ange Dudman - Us And Them

Us and Them by Ange Dudman

Ange Dudman online:


  • I love these. They’re so eerie and melancholic. Beautiful composition and lighting. I feel such a connection to the one in the TV room with the kids looking outisde at the rain.

  • these are really beautiful. very dark and emotional. reminds me of german expressionism, absolutely lovely 🙂

    Krystal x

  • She is absolutely gifted Ange Dudman.. 100% RESPECT 😉

    Michelle Adelle Pienaar