Jane Higginbottom

27 April 2020

Featured in Deptford X: 2015

What are you reading at the moment? 

The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

What does a typical day look like for you?

My days vary quite a lot from a typical studio day where I will work in my studio from about 10 until 4 or 5pm sometimes meeting up for lunch with other artists from my studios, to a day when I teach gardening all day to special needs young adults. I am also at college one day a week studying RHS level 2 horticulture.

Describe your studio/workspace

I am very lucky to have a Second Floor studio new build studio space in Deptford where I have been for one year. It has large windows on two sides and a mix of white walls and particle board. It is also full of a lot of stuff that I have collected such as tools and materials. I work either at a large work bench by the window or on a tilting drawing table. It is a small space so I am having to adapt my practice to fit this and initially found the newness a bit intimidating as I felt like I could not make mess, which is a part of my making process.

Where do your best ideas come from?

My thought processes seem to work best when I have a slow journey to my studio, sometimes stopping for a coffee on the way. The process of travelling through neutral spaces helps me to think. I am always looking at my surroundings and as my work is based on plants and trees I sometimes collect materials on my way in too. All my ideas come from plant shapes, materials and growing processes.

If Tate called you tomorrow and invited you to make work for the Turbine Hall, what would it be?

I would make work based on 27 plane trees which grow in the street where I live. It would consist of drawings of leaves, tree cross sections , heights etc. There are 27 of them. In a space such as the Turbine hall there would be room for some life-size drawings and sculptures relating to, derived from but not direct copies of these trees in a way that would allow them to be perceived differently, their differences compared and their cellular and growth processes examined.

What is helping you the most during this time?

I am posting daily on a South London Women Artist Group page on Facebook – this is a private members group but may develop into a future project later.  It is great to see the posts from other artists. I am also doing the Great British   Home Chorus with Gareth Malone which is very energising at the end of the working day. I am still being paid for my teaching work but appreciate that many artists are financially vulnerable and hope that their practice and other support will get them through this. Creativity gives us a deep well to draw from in isolation.

Website: janehigginbottom.co.uk

Instagram: jane_higginbottom 


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