SANDRA HIGGINS ART
MIXED MEDIA COLLAGE
" In 2019, I curated an exhibition titled ‘States of Disruption’ at the Major Incident Room, a short-lived gallery in a former police station in Rotherhithe. The exhibition presented the work of seven artists and primarily addressed the physical transgressions within the making and processing of art practice. However, a colleague quoted Brancusi - “Things are not difficult to make; what is difficult is putting ourselves in the state of mind to make them”, and this stuck with me.
During 2021, I worked in a series of sketchbooks I had been gifted. I felt that carrying one of these books around with me would give me the opportunity to sketch and make notes when the ‘state of mind’ was upon me. However, this coincided with a period of transition as my erstwhile studio was demolished and the contents put into storage. The opportunity to sketch became my main art practice and the sketchbook my portable studio. Pages intended as sketches became more refined and formally realised.
My usual large complex paintings were articulated into small gouache collages which opened up a whole new way of making art for me: small format has presented its challenges but also allowed for much quicker, spontaneous and experimental compositions.
Our lives have such hues of emotional states, and at times, one emotion can dominate. The pages of my sketchbook became the flytrap for the weightiest of these states during 2021 and continue to do so. The works are collages. Firstly, I make a series of paintings on paper. Then I cut these into shards and shreds, physically deconstructing the paintings into basic incidental elements. The outcome often takes time, but this involves reassembling the shards and shreds into a new, constituent whole."