“I did an art foundation course at Halifax and then came to Bradford College of Art for three years to get my Diploma, from 1962 until 1965. I vividly remember the Art School (then in the building that is now Grove Library) had an amazing smell of paint and linseed oil soaked into the floorboards which gave it a lovely atmosphere. There was a kind of excitement in the air, partly a carry over from Hockney, who was then making a name for himself in the art world. It was the place to be.
Frank Johnson, was the biggest influence on all of us and very inspirational. Unlike some lecturers who had hung up their brushes to teach, he was a practising artist who painted in front of us in the studio. Lots of the best art students did graphics because they didn’t have the necessary 5 ‘O’ Levels to do fine art. Myself, Doug Binder, John Loker, Norman Stevens, David Vaughan and David Oxtoby – we were all frustrated fine artists looking with envy into the fine art department. From being a student and my later experiences in teaching, I can say things were more anarchic in those days. In many ways work has suffered as a consequence of education becoming more prescriptive."
After College Dudley joined with his former classmates to form hip design company, Binder Edwards & Vaughan, producing fab and groovy murals, painted cars and furniture. Jimmy Hendrix and Paul McCartney played at the first Son et Lumiere they staged and Dudley and Doug painted a piano for Paul on which he composed Getting Better.
"After we went our separate ways I lived with Paul for six months during the recording of Sgt Pepper, officially to paint a mural on his wall but I didn’t actually get round to much painting. Jane Asher had gone to America for a theatre thing for six months and he wanted company. Every time I was about to start he would say ‘come to the studio…come to a nightclub.’ When Jane came back I was in the way, but Ringo, who was married and had Zak by this time, really did want a mural so I moved into his home in Weybridge for six months.”
Dudley then went formed a partnership, OM tentacle, with Mike McInnerney. “We chose the name from OM referring to the OM sound, or OM point at the beginning of creation, according to Buddhist and Hindu teachings. The equivalent of the
physicist's 'Big Bang theory' and in a manner of visualising - we are all tentacles from that. Mikeand I painted the front of the Dragon restaurant in the Kings Road, and we also produced a number of psychedelic posters, record covers (for musicians including Arthur Brown, Cat Stevens, The Soft Machine and Fats Domino) and book jackets. Before I met Mike he was the art editor of the underground newspaper IT (International Times) and when we went our separate ways Mike went on to design the album cover for Tommy by the Who."
Prestigious corporate and celebrity clients, too numerous to mention, litter Dudley’s rich and varied career, though over the years music has been an ongoing theme. When Dudley went on to direct his own film, Fred (directed with Martin Cook, who was the photographic technician at Bradford in 1964), Pete Townsend produced it. While always remaining a practising professional artist, Dudley also taught part-time at various art colleges over the years. “I came back to Bradford to do some part-time teaching on the degree from 1975 until 1978. It was good to return to my old stomping ground and I taught Mark Manning who became known as punk rocker Zodiac Mindwarp. Later on when I was teaching at Stafford I taught the guys who formed Medicine Head, and at Hornsey College of Art, Stuart Goddard aka Adam Ant.” Dudley’s work featured in a recent pop culture exhibition We Are Pop in Harrogate during July and August 2009.
When Dudley formed another creative partnership, AMAZED, with his wife Madeleine in 1997, designing bespoke rugs and wall hangings, it again attracted great acclaim and A list celebrity collectors, including Hugh Grant, as well as impressive corporate clients. “I am spending most of my time at the moment doing my painting, which is mainly figurative, which will be exhibited at Dean Clough Galleries in early 2010.”