Bill Higginson, A Fine Australian Artist, by Rolf of Etching House
Every now and then when gazing at a collection of art from a variety of up and coming artist you come across an image or style of images that has something special but you don’t know quite what just at that moment.
When the work has a wow factor and is very impressive curiosity deepens, you find yourself seeking to understand the artist as a person and the artists interpretations of how and what the artist is conveying, secretively or in your face, this is called engagement.
When you sit behind a wave on a surf board, if your still young enough, you ask what was the artist seeing and how did it transform into a work of art, its is amazing what some artist are capable of, its not so much about achieving the technical accuracy or a photo real image its important if the wave is alive and conveys the mood, like power dimension, life speed beauty and most of all a clear message, it needs to engage emotionally which Bills work dose with real meaning and passion, his talent shows emotion and care for the beauty of things that bring imagination and joy, a language of its own with out words.
You look at the diversity of Bills work and you begin to be impressed with such a young and talented artist and wonder where this journey will take you, when you look at 10 images and 7 of them impress you and the other 3 are not far behind you are on to something.
Bills work is young fresh and brilliant in execution, full of imagination, beauty, mood and this connection to all generations, most importantly its non commercial and non political yet emerging.
I can see decades of evolution coming for Bill, what is being done to day will be so different tomorrow, most artists can draw and do it well but bill has a high level of fundamentals happening with youth on his side, his journeys will be interesting, many and rewarding for all.
My self I see Bills talent in a divers range of subjects of witch some remind me of snippets of Eagan, Gleeson, Knight, but in a league of his own is Bills Graphite works, a new bench mark, the detail, balance and emphasis on light and shade harmonised as if in a song of mood and beauty, his basic detailed style reminds me of Lionel Lindsay and his light series with the incredible mood and light, and yes the fine detail of Norman Lindsay, these are all the immediate feelings running threw my mind, Bill is a very talented artist and has an incredible passion for Graphite as a medium.
Bill in time will see him face a welcomed challenge where he will launch himself in to Oil paintings.
Norman Lindsay once said “I only like to paint in a southern light where possible and at a rate of 8 hours per square inch”.
Garry Shead said, “The better and artist can draw the better the work will be”,
Bill also expresses the intimacy, subtleness, mood, passion and impact all beautifully executed. Bills Higginson is one artist to watch closely.
More about Bill Higginson –
After Bill was born in 1978. Several years later, he told his folks he wanted to be an artist. Being of a supportive nature, they gave him some pencils and paper. In doing so they also gave him a career. Bill was one of those people with the good fortune to discover early on where the deposit of talent lay within him self. He found joy in doing something he was naturally good at, and, as with any such endeavour, good return on invested time led to greater investment.
In 1990, Bill was diagnosed with life-threatening liver failure. A diagnosis of leukaemia soon followed. He was eleven. For the next three years he lived with the knowledge that it could all end at any moment. Living with such conditions cannot help but alter one’s perspective on life. Moreover, that change in outlook never truly departs, and has informed so much of Bill’s work as an adult.
Lying in the hospital bed, Bill remembers asking his folks for pencils and paper. It was at this point that Ruth and John knew their son was recovering. For many, art is a way of life, or a welcome escape from it. For Bill, art became a way back* to life.
High school would expose Bill to many new techniques he was fortunate to have teachers who recognised his ability and then encouraged him to extend himself in new directions. It is a tenet he continues to hold to, never content to confine himself to one discipline. Following school, Bill decided to join the army. He served for three years then left, returning to the Gold Coast which had always been his home. His pencils and paper would sit, mostly unused, for four years.
But talent, that strange and indomitable beast, would not stop seeking a way out. In 2003, Bill abandoned any pretence towards living a 9 to 5 life. He set about in earnest what that deposit of talent – that rich vein that can never be tapped out – demanded of him; to be refined, enriched, and utilised. He rented out a studio apartment and filled it with the tools of his craft. He lives there to this day, surrounded by his creations, his adventures into imagination.
It has been an ongoing process, honing that rude lump of talent deposited inside. Bill has moved far from the pencil-sketches that were his launching pad. From graphite he moved to pastel; from there he went on to employ acrylics, oils, charcoal and airbrush in his repertoire.
From success at high school art shows, he has progressed to the point where he routinely accepts People’s Choice awards, Highly Commended accolades and was the John Flynn Resident Artist 2007. He has been commissioned to do work in America, Germany and New Zealand. He has also ranged far afield from his initial forays into realism. He continues in the afore-mentioned style with an exquisite eye for detail, but is constantly pursuing other styles and genres that test his ability, expand his mind. Surrealism, abstract and fantasy are all within his domain.
What sets Bill apart from so many other artists is his imagination. When coupled with his experiences as a boy and man, his formidable talent and his sense of humour, it is a heady stew indeed. As you view each work on this website, it is helpful to remember that what Bill derives most from his work is fun. You should too. It’s what he wants.
Picture a guy with a pencil in one hand, a beer in the other, a smile on his face and an imagination running smooth, hot and clean and you’ve got Bill, All Australain.
There’s a little something for everyone here, for all tastes and all seasons. Furthermore, as Bill is only too willing to admit, this is just the beginning. Remind yourself of that as you roam through the galleries; the best is always yet to come.