Online Exhibition- Amy Higgins

Published on: March 1, 2021

October 7, 2021 @ 6:00 pm – October 31, 2021 @ 7:00 pm

Amy Higgins is an artist living in Belfast and works from a studio in QSS (Queen Street Studios) where
she is also a member of the board of directors, where includes the running of the gallery and studio
space. Higgins completed a BA (Hons) and Masters in Fine Art and has been a practicing artist
professionally since the completion of her Masters in 2018 (Ulster University). She tends to work with
oil paint as key medium which evolves from drawings or collages. The subject matter of the paintings
usually comes from the idea of “The Human Condition” (Hannah Arendt) and “The Monstrous
Feminine” (Barbara Creed). The practise is based around deep, internal thoughts, the subconscious,
the sublime, and with an idea around the viewer and the “embodiment of looking”. Higgins often
questions how one can disconcert the viewer through use of the canvases insinuated “planes” and
spaces. She often makes work with geometric shape and strong grid like lines, she believes this helps
to underline the main theories and ideas she invesitagates.
There is a methodology to the painting practice wherein several different aspects are studied to reach
a desired conclusion which are; the scale of the work, the suggested space within the work, geometry
and perspective and most importantly, the darkness of the painting (in terms of colour palette and
Principally, in order to fashion a “space” that is distorted and uncertain, the fourth aspect is what
effectively allows this to happen; geometry and perspective. This idea is somewhat parallel to the
painting techniques in the sense that there is a personal perspective challenged where the figures are
collectively looking in one direction and the literal viewer is positioned behind something, but with
this aspect, Higgins intensifies this with the perplexed use of sites, planes and layers distorted to
corrupt any fragment of location or subject knowledge that the viewer may have.
Researching around the human eye and its light-sensitive cells, the phosphene patterns of
hallucinations have crept up in the paintings and drawings. The grids-like forms that are layered on
the canvas connote utopian ideologies of modernism but when infused with these different aspects
altogether in one work brings relief to the suggested space with tension and arrest to the physical
qualities of the paint; creating aesthetic possibilities for the suggested three-dimensional space in a
chaotic geometric way. The worked-up image is an attempt at being uncertain in terms of a
fragmentation and break up of linear spatial descriptions that are convergent, divergent, cross-cutting
and parallel.
There is an underlying medieval, religious manner to the work which stems from the idea and context
of Fra Angelico’s monastery paintings. The thoughts currently around the installation of the paintings
is to encourage and emphasise the awareness of specific space which is invoked in the painting and in
the relationship of the physical space with the viewer.

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