Vale Shaw Hendry (1963-2010) The image on the front of the catalogue said it all – Hermano Rojo, ukulele in hand, bowing to his audience.
Vale Shaw Hendry (1963-2010)
The image on the front of the catalogue said it all - Hermano Rojo, ukulele in hand, bowing to his audience. It could have been the end of another performance, but instead it felt like a farewell...
The life of this underground folk music darling and wrestling behemoth of the western suburbs of Adelaide was celebrated in April with an exhibition at FELTspace. Titled Hermano Fan Club it was a collection of lovingly handcrafted fan memorabilia forming a devotional shrine to the alter ego of artist Shaw Hendry. With his passing away on April 23, it was, sadly, his final show, but one that was a true manifestation of the nature of his good spirit.
Through his work as an artist, writer, curator and Vitamin zine creator, Shaw crossed paths with many in the South Australian arts community. During his fourteen years as a technical officer at the South Australian School of Art, he helped shape the work ethic of many artists at the beginning stages of their careers. It's hard to find anyone who wasn’t touched by his spirit of generosity and it was this willingness to give and include others in his projects that was a unique and important aspect of Shaw’s life.
The conception of Hermano was the perfect example of this, and upon joining his Facebook Fan Club page you immediately felt you were a part of something special. Hermano spread his messages of peace and happiness through music, which provided further opportunities for the inclusion of friends through his support acts 'Hermano World Youth Orchestra' and 'Hermano Super Group'. Similarly, the 'Show within the Show' at the FELTspace exhibition allowed some of Hermano's biggest fans to create portraits of their hero, and add to the celebration that was Hermano-mania!
The joyful and humorous nature that characterised Hermano was present in much that Shaw did. His references to pop and collectible culture, and his use of bright colours and flower imagery, touched on the enjoyable aspects of life that can easily be forgotten. Even under the direst of circumstances he had a way of reminding you not to take life too seriously. To know him was to learn the importance of every bit of positive energy in life which when invested in others makes your world a richer place.
As with any kind of alter ego, Hermano and Shaw were never in the same place at the same time and unsurprisingly it wasn’t Hermano who made it to the opening night at FELTspace, but Shaw, decked out in the finest of Hawaiian shirts. Greeted by a ginger beer drinking crowd (Hermano’s beverage of choice) that spilled out into Compton Street, the gallery was filled with the love and affection also present in the work inside.
Long live Hermano…and long live Shaw.
Jessie Lumb, Logan Macdonald