Higgin, Aubrey (1993 – )
Aubrey Higgin was born in Cheshire, UK in 1993. He developed a keen interest in the arts at a very young age from painting with his Grandmother, who inspired his love of art. He was subsequently awarded an Art Scholarship. He is a graduate of the BA Art programme at Reading University.
From helping to design stage backdrops, to carrying his camera around at festivals to sketching scenes of sporting events, he has always associated art with his everyday life. His practice spans installation, film, photography, and painting, with the latter being his keenest field. His art focuses on the unknown associated with colour, movement, and health. This interest was conceived as a teenager by taking pictures of cars and lights. He loved the unknown outcome that came about from taking photos of cars and river lights at night on a long shutter speed; despite photographing the same scenes, the result would never be the same.
In his paintings he tries to capture this unknown theme. More recently, he has applied this creative relationship of motion and light to health. This idea of the unknown has become a theme that he has had to live with and accept due to his health issues.
Over the last couple of years, he has had to deal with glandular fever, dengue fever and skin cancer; these setbacks have led to him spending time in hospitals, from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London to The Christie in Manchester. For a long time he had no clear diagnosis. The absence of any clear answers to his problems was infuriating and excruciating. This unknown state, paired with him being removed from society, proved very frustrating, and fostered a belief that he was truly on his own.
During this period, he met many others who had suffered similar circumstances; this gave him hope, and reminded him that one is never truly alone. The unwelcome and unfavourable unknown can be horrendous; he noticed how much harder it was to deal with the illness when he was without answers than when he finally had some knowledge of what was actually wrong with him. It was during this time that he felt most alone and distraught. He used the paintings as a way to bring out hope and the positive spirit.
Some works may be more clear to understand through less layering, whilst others have so many layers it is impossible to comprehend at first sight what is going on. This idea of layering and creating gestures of the unknown is something we all have to deal with at some point; whether it is traumatic or something exciting, it’s an unavoidable part of life.
In spite of the unknown being something of which he hasn’t had particularly fond memories, he wanted to use the unknown as something more positive, Aubrey believe’s that in the end something good will inevitably come about. Whilst some paintings may give off a more dark image than others, ultimately he wants them to send a message of hope. The unknown is sublime; it can be both beautiful and exciting, as well as dark.
As his journey continues, it is something that he looks forward to exploring more and he hopes he can help others, through his art, to find light and positivity when they are suffering from illness or some other trauma in their lives.
“The palette I use focuses on bright contrasting colours. I use techniques of layering from artists such Schwitters, Rauschenberg and the technique of Richter using a palate knife, but with my own spin by using old bamboo sticks, old grooming brushes for horses. It creates an unusual texture and depth to the work”