Friday, 13 December 2013

Florence Higgs - Printmaker

It is amazing where you can find a new artist. There I was today standing in a queue in our local post office waiting to post a Urushibara woodcut to Australia, when I looked at there notice board. "For Sale" - 1950's Linocut of "Limpsfield Church and Surroundings" by Australian artist Florence Higgs !!

Wow - how bizarre !! -- Sadly I can't post a photo of this linocut as I just couldn't photograph the advert clear enough...... and even more bizarre is the fact that she was born in the State of Victoria which was the address on my parcel !!



I just had to find more information.... firstly here are few pictures from the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. Both are catalogued as linocuts dating to the 1950's. I particularly like the Seagulls.


She was born 1918 in Victoria, Australian and worked as printmaker during the 1950's & 60's both in the UK (c1960) and in her Native Australia. She was known as "Torchy" to her friends, I wonder why ?

Her exhibition record confirms that she was a Melbourne based art, as many of her shows were titled "The Melbourne Graphic Artists". These events included venues such as; Peter Bray Gallery (1956), Australian Galleries(1958) and the Macquarie Galleries (1961). I assume she was a member of the "The Melbourne Graphic Artists", a group of Australian printmakers, that included the artist Leonard French (b1928)

She was an influencial artist inspiring the then developing artist Leslie Van Der Sluys (1939-2010) to linocuts and "by Sydney relief printmaker Florence Higgs who through the example of her own work introduced him to the rich formal and decorative potential of the Australian flora" (link) - see left

Her works can be found in several gallery collections in Australia including; in the National Gallery of Australia (20), National Gallery of Victoria (5) and the Centre for Australian Art.

Not much information, it must be out there, probably in some dusty Australian archive, she may still be alive. A retrospective exhibition and monograph publication should be commissioned. Disappointingly her name does not appear on auction result site, so I do not know current popularity or resale values. So for now, here are a few more linocuts.



For more works by this artist try - www.cs.nga.gov.au

References
www.cs.nga.gov.au
www.ngv.vic.gov.au
www.printsandprintmaking.gov.au
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