Russell Shaw Higgs

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Russell Shaw Higgs

Russell Shaw Higgs was born in 1960 in Oswestry Army Camp. He is named after two of his father’s favourite men, Bertrand Russell and George Bernard Shaw. Predominantly based in London, he has a broad and diverse history as an artist and political activist.

In the early 80s post-punk band Wicked Kitchen Staff, Russell sang and redistributed shoplifted gifts amongst the audiences. In the late 80s he was heavily engaged as a frontline civil disobedience activist with a number of campaigns including ACT-UP London and Outrage. The early 90s saw Russell flirting with Contemporary Dance, in performances at the ICA & The Place.

In December 2000 Russell was remanded in Brixton Prison on a continuous naked protest, refusing to wear clothes until all charges against him were eventually dropped. In 2010 the video compilation of his three year improvised daily self portrait project (“999 Days”) was shortlisted for the Guggenheim & YouTube “PLAY”, and projected onto the outside of the New York Guggenheim building. Since 2013 he has been pasting and graffitiing in the streets. His Basic Income Street posters being his most recognised street art internationally. Most recently he stood as an independent candidate in the UK General Elections of 2015 & 2017.

Russell has lived a fiercely self directed and uncompromising life. Burning many many bridges along the way. Not always making the wisest or most practical choices. He regularly compares the option of death against whatever other choices are on offer to him, in order to be clear about what he is and is not prepared to do. He is by default an optimist.

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