April 03 2020 Friday at 09:40 AM

The Little Heroes, The Art of Drew Wellman

“Even though they’re just kids, they epitomize what’s great about surfing!” Drew Wellman, an artist who has been plying his trade for many years. Will open his one-man show, “The Little Heroes” at the Deus Gallery Canggu at 6pm on the 31st May 2013. Drew’s subject matter aren’t ordinary children, they’re a group of gentlemen from a forgotten time. They come from a place at the edge of our so-called civilized world. Precise moments captured. They are looking back at you. Hands resting confidently on hips, a stance, an expression, their bearing. These boys are proud. Proud like their fathers. They are true children of the sea. Their fathers are fishermen. Their fathers before. Naught has changed. These little heroes strike you more as images of nobility. Each rides a chariot that hasseen way better days. Straight away you can tell it’s not so much about what they ride, moreover the simple fact that they ride. The patchwork repairs across the bandaged, broken polyester, badges of honor. You’ll be dumbfounded at their use of what is available. You’ll be stopped dead in your tracks by these giants demeanor. What drew him to these knights and their eclectic steeds was their innocence. When they dinged or broke their boards they repaired them with what was available, boat resin and heavy strand glass. One board made from two totally different boards? Why not. Snap the nose off, round it out. And somewhere in the process they’d also decorated their rides. Markings they drew across the board their own accessible version of a brand or sponsor’s logo. Things they’d seen in the odd surfing magazine that had made its way to their backyard. Pride. Simplicity. Full circle. For it is the same simplicity that Pak Sadra displayed.Some depth is needed here. This was the man who was both mentor and friend to Drew. A man who firmly placed him on the path to becoming an artist all those many moons ago. This man would paint a picture, walk into Ubud town and sell it. Using the proceeds to house and feed his family. He was living the art, a doer. Mornings might be spent carving stone and when it became too hot he would retire to the shade and paint. This is Drew’s litmus test for everything he does. Then it gets complicated. Drew didn’t just want some white walls lined with this aristocracy of a far-flung place bearing down at you. He wanted to add context. He wants you to experience the life that has led him to this point and so has decided to completely envelop the Deus Gallery in what it is to be him. He sat down and began to think in terms of what a show that he’d like to go and see would look like. He wanted to create something that if another artist had done it, he’d be jealous. We’ve seen a small part of it set up at his studio and we believe he’s succeeded. Drew is creating something very unique, not only in terms of what the exhibit will be but definitely in terms of where he’s hosting it. Dioramas built from his personal trash and treasure, most of which was found on a beach. He finds used and discarded a lot more interesting than brand new. Mementos of travel and home. Whether a mannequin’s head found washed up in Mozambique or the hundreds of sun-bleached, salt encrusted cigarette lighters he’s engaged members of his community to collect for him. All of it has meaning and most revolve around his love of the ocean. You’ll have to peer in around, up and down. Lighting will be the viewer’s input. Torches of one flavour or another will be handed out to help illuminate peoples way. Feel free to bring your own. For the full immersive experience he’s also been thinking sound and music. In fact the show takes it’s name from Drew’s favorite Melbourne band, The Little Heroes. It was the backing track to learning to drive in his sisters Datsun 1600. We sit out on his back porch drinking Capt. Morgan’s and dry, bouncing ideas around much like those excited little boys that form the core of the exhibition. Music drifts from in, out. We laugh and get enthusiastic on life, caught up in Drew’s endless flow. Deus Gallery are proud to present “The Little Heroes” for the months of June & July.