Ideas that would otherwise just sit and percolate around the back of your mind, suddenly get thrown on the table and you are being told, “We can do this, we can make this happen, and here’s how we’re going to do it.” It’s a really nice feeling for an artist with a lot of seemingly unrealisable ideas to be offered the opportunity and encouragement to just go ahead and make them with a full team of dedicated experts.’


Bickerton with clay modeller, Yogyakarta 2018.

ASHLEY BICKERTON (b. 1959, Barbados)

ASHLEY BICKERTON’s work is synonymous with colour, vibrancy and strong undertones of anti-consumerism. This can be identified through his use and portrayal of natural and organic items like coconuts or waste-trodden landscapes. Staying true to his neo-geo roots, Bickerton uses his locale as his inspiration – tropical and sunny Bali with the exoticism and mystique that he articulates through his hands. Swaying trees, flowers and serpents dot his works, seemingly as if he was peering out his window in Bali, while he goes about formulating new sardonic ways to slander society and even himself. Grotesque, crude but undeniably eye-catching, Bickerton will remain relevant and enterprising as the world ages and continuously degrades ironically from humanity’s progression.

Silicon bronze, stainless steel rod, metal, woodbase
41 x 46 x 170 cm

In 2015, Bickerton began collaborating with Yogya Art Lab in 2015, which brought about a new dimension to his 30-year long oeuvre. Recurring subjects and themes in his painting practice in Bali, from the shark motif to his iconic silver-skinned Balinese women, were recreated into highly polished, exquisitely detailed life-sized sculptures. Imposing with their surreal, alien-like qualities, Bickerton’s sculptures unsettle viewers in fresh ways, as they move beyond the canvas and enter into our space.

Cast aluminum
86 x 50 x 210 cm

A distinctive feature of Bickerton’s works created in Bali is his satirical set of characters: the nude, silky-skinned Balinese women painted in silver; and the Western foreigner painted in alien-like blue.

Transformed into an aluminum sculpture in Wahine Pa’ina, this enigmatic woman adorned in flowers and carrying a plate of tropical fruits now commands presence in a different way, as she intrudes space. No longer is she a mere character trapped in a picture, but her life-sized, sculptural form makes her feel more hauntingly real.

Yet, her perfect, pristine form makes her appear hollow, almost non-human—moving us to ponder how women like her have long been objectified and othered, treated as mere background or decoration to another’s fantasy.

Weighted with layers of meaning, the shark is not only that lethal creature lurking in the sea and waiting to devour its next prey—in places like Hawaii, where Bickerton once lived, sharks are revered like ancestors, even deities. Depicting a thin and sensuous shark form floating upright, Bickerton strips away the fear typically associated with the animal—and, in highlighting its sleek and refined three dimensional form, unveils the elegance of its curves, the grace of its movement, the enigma of its sacred air.

Cast Aluminum
86 x 50 x 210 cm