Icon is a saltwater crocodile made from 80 separate pieces of fibreglass. Wirawan made Icon as part of his response to the 2015 Indonesian-Top End Artists’ Camp run by the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA), and culminating with the Cruise Control exhibition at NCCA (2016).
Icon was made back home in Central Bali and was first shown in Cruise Control as part of a sculptural installation by Wirawan. The Icons, as this work was titled, also included a wall mounted fibreglass sculpture of the iconic Balinese Goddess Rangda, known as the “witch goddess” and similar in character to the Hindu Goddess, Kali. In this work Rangda and the Crocodile are poised in a peaceful encounter, each recognising the power and domain of the other.
The 2015 Artist’s Camp saw Wirawan and fellow artists travel throughout the Northern Territory, spending time in Alice Springs, Uluru, Darwin, Beswick (Wugularr), Oenpelli, and Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) on Melville Island. It was at Beswick that the artists came closest to a crocodile in the wild, with a resident crocodile at Beswick Creek.
Wirawan’s crocodile Icon pays homage to the inspiring mystique of this ancient predator, venerated as an ancestral figure in Top End Aboriginal mythologies. Icon finds a new lease of life amidst the water and wildlife of Casuarina Square and The Quarter.
Wayan Wirawan, b. 1975
Wayan Wirawan is one of Bali’s leading contemporary artists, primarily a painter who initially trained in the Batuan style of painting. From 1991 to 1995 he completed his studies at the SMSR N Denpasar and in 1995 he undertook further studies at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta until 2002. Wirawan has held six solo exhibits to date, with his most recent being The Colour of Life at Positive Negative Visual Gallery, Seminyak, Bali (2014). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions since 1991, in Bali, Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Australia, and been a finalist in several award exhibitions as well as winning several awards during his studies in Denpasar and Yogyakarta. Aside from painting Wirawan also works in carving/sculpture and installation.