Taking inspiration from industries that have touched her life, or have shaped her environment, Leah Higgins gallery features three connected bodies of work that map change.
In a series of pieces that reference specific collieries, Leah explores coal mining and those industrial structures that once dominated so many lives and so much of the landscape in northern England, and its industry that has been systematically erased and deconstructed; that exists today only in our memories.
Abandoned decades ago, the towering red, brick-built mills of the Cotton industry still shape the landscape in Manchester and the surrounding towns. In large, abstract works Leah celebrates those mills that continue to erode and decay, and those that have found a new purpose, have been reconstructed – as studio spaces for artists and musicians and as homes for small businesses and cottage industries.
In contrast, the print and publishing industry has responded to change by evolving. Mass publication in decline, replaced by on-line newspapers and e-books. Large scale mechanical processes replaced by digital technology. Old technologies explored by artists and repurposed to create art.
Leah uses breakdown (also known as deconstructive) printing to print collections of fabric which she cuts and reconstructs into her quilts.