Damien Drew documents the built environment and our relationship with it. He witnesses the loss of ‘place’, the erasure of unique communities, and their replacement with homogenous environments. Formerly vital places are transformed such that ‘every place’ becomes ‘no place’ in particular. These cultural and social shifts are captured in our urban fabric, offering scenes and details that we might habitually pass by. Drew captures beauty in unlikely locations, reframing loss and decay as an invitation for reflection and contemplation.
His work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions at Blackeye Gallery in Sydney in 2015/2017. ‘Everywhere was Wherever’ documents a trans-American motorcycle journey through large-scale images of remnant building facades on the periphery of an America perched tenuously between decay and development. ‘Wabi-Sabi’ explored the Japanese aesthetic philosophy that celebrates beauty in the modest, imperfect, ephemeral, or decayed. Drew carefully observing the melancholy beauty of the many towns and villages that have now become neglected through depopulation and urban migration.
Drew’s work has been featured by White Lies Magazine, Aint Bad Magazine, Feature Shoot, Paris Photo Agenda, and Australian Photography Magazine. He has also exhibited with Feature Shoot in Berlin and New York, and Rewind Photo Gallery, Sydney. He was a finalist in Lens Culture AFAR Travel Awards in 2018, Photo Lucida ‘Critical Mass’ in 2020, and Sienna Photo Awards in 2017