Bickerton’s collaboration with STPI is punctuated with many ‘firsts’ in terms of artistic collaborations, for the artist as well as for the facility. The artist is gleefully unimpressed with declared milestones and more excited by creative possibilities.
The unique paper pulp works that have emerged mark the debut of extensive paper casts and moulds created during their collaboration and an occasion in which digital & laser technology and computer imagery have been employed in an STPI production. One of the most strenuous projects in terms of the scope of technical labour and focus, the STPI crew has good reason to celebrate the launch of Bickerton’s VAP works in New York and Singapore simultaneously.
STPI Chief Printer Eitaro Ogawa refers to the ‘triple the usual work-hours’ for ‘the most labour-intensive project taken by STPI since we started in 2002’, and the first time that the crew had stayed overnight for successive nights at the workshop to complete sections of Bickerton’s work. Both Eitaro and papermaster Richard Hungerford testify to the somewhat paradoxical nature of the artist’s approach in the workshop – his apologetic stance and sensitivity to the complexities of collective inputs were equalled by his punishing, compulsive drive to ‘get it perfectly, immaculately right’.