In John Cale’s “Buffalo Ballet” from his album Fear, a songwriter from Wales, imagines with heavy nostalgia, life on the hot Texas prairies at the turn of the 20th century. Time stretching in the shimmering heat before an incoming cavalry disturbs the peace.
In my local park at the start of the English summer, I often laid on my back and looked closely at the immediate environment around me, the shadows and silhouettes in the harsh morning light. Looking so closely and longingly at these small details implies a pause in regular life, but also implicates a sense of grief. With eyes closed, the rays of the sun, conjured after-images and outlines of layered shadows and shapes. The sky peeking through branches, glistening light on the nearby urban waterway, the silhouette of my hand raised above my head.
Sitting inside at my window, staring daily at the same view, I was compelled to notice how time is marked in colour and light outside, creating strong and changeable moods in my immediate environment. I was listening to the soundtrack of the film Walkabout as I worked on these drawings, by English director Nicholas Roeg, where he attempts to glean a sense of loss, longing, and spirituality in the Australian landscape. The film’s composer John Barry uses the minor key to give his music a melancholy that is imbued into the landscape, it’s European orchestral strings discordant with the terrain of the film. I made these drawings in London far from Australia, but with my memories of the landscape and its ambient light at the forefront of my mind. There is an absence in these drawings that I hope brushes against the condition evoked by these references; a play with shadow and light that reflect my meditative state, and a desire to give form to this bittersweet feeling of dissonance.
— Anna Higgins, 2020
Anna Higgins’ image-based practice incorporates found archival and contemporary material that is abstracted and re-contextualized through methods of collage, painting and film photography to form new perspectives and poetic interpretations. Anna’s work explores the nature of images and how the mind makes sense of visual information that is not fully formed.
Anna completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the Victorian College of the Arts (2013) and a Graduate Diploma of Museum Studies at Deakin University (2016). She is currently undertaking a Masters of Fine Arts at The Royal Academy Schools, London. Recent solo exhibitions include Faraway Beach, Mackintosh Lane, London (2019), The Sick Rose, David, Melbourne (2019), International Waters, Centre of Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2016) Double Negative, Substation, Melbourne (2015), Ma, 3331 Chiyoda, Tokyo (2014) Super Panavision, West Space, Melbourne (2014) and Higgs Boson, TCB art inc, Melbourne (2013).
Anna’s inaugural solo exhibition with ReadingRoom, Omens, is upcoming in February, 2021.
ReadingRoom’s Artist Page for Anna Higgins