Artist Profile

Sydney Hamlet Higgs


Tasmanian born artist Sydney Hamlet Higgs received his first lessons in watercolour from his uncle, architect and watercolourist Joshua Higgs. A leading patent attorney, Higgs moved to Wellington in 1906, to take up a position with a patent firm. Introduced to the Wellington Art Club by his friend and fellow student Nugent Welch, Higgs was a member for over sixty years. A well known amateur artist, he painted at Pumpkin Cottage, Silverstream and exhibited regularly at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

Higgs had a special love for gum trees, which reminded him of his childhood. Enticed by the quality of light, he often visited Tauranga to paint family homes, surrounding mountains, and of course the gum trees. Painted in an impressionistic style, the branches of the Gum twist and turn appearing to be weighed down from the leaves. The pale strips of bark wind up the tree in shades of pink and yellow.

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