Rosemary Higbee

John Cullinan

Rosemary Higbee was born in India in 1923 of Anglo Irish decent. She lived there until she was seven and a half years old, when she was sent to boarding school in England. The stark contrast of cultures and the difference between vivid colours of India and a grey wintry England is etched in her memory.

At the age of 17, she attended Reading University studying fine art. World War Two broke out and Higbee’s studies were interrupted. She served in the WRENS during the period of the war. She resumed her studies again in 1945 at Kingston-upon-Thames, Chelsea School of Art and teacher training in London University. She taught in London from 1949-1973. In 1973 Higgle moved to Waterford where she of her family still lived. She worked as an art lecturer at CTI Waterford unit 1989.

In 1990, Rosemary Higbee exhibited in a two person show at Garter Lane . Her first solo exhibition
was in 1997 at The Dyehouse Gallery. In 1998 she exhibited at the Hillsborough Fine Art with the Et Ives group of artists. In 2000 she had a Mini Retrospective at the Hillsborough. Higbee’s influences stem back to the end of The Second World War from seeing the works of Picasso,Braque, Matisse and Bonnard.

The work in this exhibition spans the decades from the 1940’s to the present day. Different styles and influences can be seen from the various periods; from the more lyrical early works to the hard edge graphic works and the painterly abstracts of the 1990’s. Her early years in India have influenced her palette. Higbee used brushes, a pallet knife and daubs of paint with her fingers to create her work.
The artist’s studio is set in the picturesque orchard at her home in Kilmeaden. At the age of 92, Higbee still works daily in her studio.


John is a professional artist who works from his own studio / gallery on the outskirts of Tramore. He graduated from the Limerick school of art and lectured there following his graduation.  He oversees the Waterford Live Art group every Wednesday night at the Coastguard Cultural Centre. His work has featured in Saatchi online Figures and Nude collection best of 2013 and is  held in many private and public collections.  His name appears in “Whytes Buyers Guide to Irish Art” 10th edition.                                                                                                                                                 
You can contact John: 051 386567  087 6873161


Artists at Garter LaneIMG_4870