Amy Higgins

Amy Higgins

How do you describe your practice?
My practice is in a state of flux, always. One minute I’ll think I know what I’m doing and what I’m focusing on and it just gets away from me; the ideas flow and it turns into something else, I just float away with it. Then I come back and read an artist bio I wrote a week ago and it doesn’t make sense anymore.
At the minute I’m focusing on a new trajectory (that I’m trying to pin down) and exploring new mediums and new installation ideas. Usually, as I work full time, I go in to the studio, panic, make a painting, take a photo and leave…but recently I’ve been going in and staring at my work for a while, pick up some materials and drape and dress them and see what I get; I’m really enjoying it a lot more now that I’ve relaxed a bit. I just wonder now why was I panicking and ruining work when I just needed to take a step back and look. There’s no rush, what am I doing it for if I’m not enjoying it? What am I doing it for if it’s not personal?
What jobs have you done, other than being an artist?
I currently work in a prison teaching Art and I absolutely love it. It’s opened up new opportunities for me in the sense of idea generation and material usage. When you’re an Artist with a day job you don’t usually switch off and you find inspiration from the things around you, you’re always thinking about your practice. The Artist influence, materials and even the subject matter of my work has changed since working there. My work previously was really heavy and dark and melancholic, now I need some light and joy, and you can see that in my work.
I’ve included my new work here which are actually all on show currently in the island arts centre in Lisburn!
How long have you been working as an artist?
From the womb? Ha. Well I finished my BA Hons in 2016 and moved straight into the MFA at Ulster and finished that in 2018, so I guess you could say I started working as an Artist then, when I got my studio at QSS. I’ve been with QSS ever since and have an amazing studio that I try to get into as much as possible. I’ve aways had a job alongside my practice as I think it’s important to do both, especially as an Artist educator! As mentioned above about my career: both inform the other, both work in tandem and I wouldn’t change that. I love them both and I’m so lucky to get to do both.
Describe how important art is to society?
Well, what would we do without art?? What a boring, miserable existence it would be. Art is so much more than colour and aesthetic, it helps so many people in so many ways. From working as a prison art teacher and working as an Artist with mental health issues myself, it’s so obvious to see how beneficial it is for the mind. Art’s so underrated as a form of therapy, if you have a bit of guidance and the right attitude. It’s helped me so many times out of a dark place and I can see how much it helps those incarcerated. It’s a visual language that we all speak, it’s for everyone. It’s AMAZING. Get into it.
About Amy:

Amy Higgins has a BA Hons and Masters of Fine Art awarded by the Ulster University. Higgins received a distinction for her Masters degree wherein she developed ideas around Barbara Creed’s Monstrous Feminine and Hannah Arendt’s notions around the Human Condition. Her work has made a recent shift into the idea of a metaphysical place and the awareness of position in viewing the artwork. Dark palettes continue to be used but with a new interest into how colours can be employed.


Instagram: @amyhigginsfineart