You’ve seen the film, now buy the product 

David Higgins’ colourful silky designs could be inland Australia seen from the window of an aircraft. 

The well-known Warrnambool artist has made a career out of capturing the ocean and forests in ink and for 30 years he has been travelling to Japan promoting and selling his work. 

But his next exhibition in Tokyo this Sunday will have a different edge.

“I’ve been dealing with the fashion industry, trying to get through the door,”  Higgins said. 

“It’s an event — these are paying customers coming to see my designs. 

“They’re simple designs, they’re organic contemporary dreamings.”

Australia remains a difficult place to find success in the garment industry. Contracts that have been hard fought for haven’t yielded success, he said. 

He’s now looking to Japan and China to pick up interest. 

“Australia is a dead duck,” he said.  

‘‘The fashion industry is dead unless you’re old money.”

Despite months of efforts before the show, he isn’t dwelling too much on where success it might take him. “It will just be whatever the next step is,” he said. 

‘‘I’m just pitching at what I think the market is.” 

Hours of studio work have also been compressed into a short film by Warrnambool filmmaker Colleen Hughson to support the show.

“I met with David to do a time lapse but it only took a couple of hours to do a painting,” she said.

“I set up the camera and just left.” 

Higgins’ artwork will also hang alongside Japanese artist Ishiyama Osamu and his kimono designs and wall hangings. 

s.mccomish@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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