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Art Cast

Russell Shaw Higgs

Art Cast

Series 2 Episode 2: Russell Shaw Higgs

Student Guest: Jasmine Walsh


Welcome to Art Cast, a podcast presented by Matt Gee, artist… and Subject Leader for Fine Art at Morley College London. The decision to do this podcast was inspired by photographs taken from the Polio outbreak in the 1940s where students were being remotely taught by radio. This podcast will be a series of informal discussions with artists about their work, lifestyle and how they have adapted during the current crisis we live in. The aim is to disseminate material for students by limiting screen time and providing a feed of information for when they are taking a break from the screen.


Russell was born in Oswestry Army Camp. Based predominantly in London, Russell has a long history as being an artist but also a political activist. In the late 80’s he was engaged as a frontline civil disobedience activist with campaigns such as ACT-UP and Outrage. Act up was a political group working together to end the AIDS pandemic, and continues to work on medication, treatment, legislation and public policies. He was a frontline Civil Disobedience activist and chaired the inaugural meetings of queer activist group Outrage in 1990 which was set up to advocate that gay, lesbian and bi-sexual people have the same rights as heterosexual people and to end Homophobia.


In the early 90’s Russell moved into Contemporary Dance which included performances at the ICA, with his contemporary dance group 2MEN and with Manact at Londons Place Theatre. In 2010 his improvised self portrait video compilation was shortlisted for a Guggenheim and Youtube prize and projected outside the museum in New York.  Since 2013 he has focused more on the streets, pasting up works and engaging in the world of street art and graffiti. Russel is also very much engaged within the world of British Politics, and for the elections in 2015 and 2017 he stood as an independent candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch.


You can listen to previous episodes on the Morley Radio website, which includes artist support pledge founder Matthew Burrows, Goldie, and Morley Chelsea alumni Susan Collis.