Shop mannequins (4), wood, made for Scribbly Graphics, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 2000
Australian screen-printing company, 'Scribbly Graphics', used these wooden mannequins to display its range of children's clothing in its Sydney stores. Depicting happy, animated children, the cut-outs reflect the company philosophy of capturing the 'fun and freedom' of the Australian lifestyle. Higgs established Scribbly Graphics in 1978, designing printed paper items before turning to fabric printing in the early 1980s. In 1987, Higgs' husband, Norman, joined the business to manage production. His arrival coincided with a decision to concentrate on a range of children's clothing with colourful designs illustrating the antics of Australian animals.
For Higgs, the brightly-coloured patterns were central to her philosophy of developing a uniquely Australian range. 'I have always felt sorry about the way children's shops have cringed away from our own Australian animals,' she said, 'and it has been a sort of crusade for me over the years to get them accepted... Scribbly is entirely and unashamedly in favour of our Australian animals.' Made in Australia from Australian cotton and cotton-knits, the garments were designed to be comfortable and hard-wearing, and could be matched with placement-print t-shirts and plain coloured pieces.
Scribbly Graphics opened its first store at the Sydney Opera House in 1994, followed by a second store at the Queen Victoria Building in 1996. A third store opened at Sydney International Airport in 1997. Since then, the range has grown to include tea-towels, wrapping paper, writing paper, toys and children's fashion accessories. It has gained particular appeal amongst international tourists as well as a local market wanting colourful children's clothing made in Australia with Australian materials.
In 2005, the Australian Embassy in Beijing commissioned Higgs to design and make 3000 Christmas cards for distribution in China. This project confirmed to her that she was recognised and respected as a graphic artist.
These painted, wooden mannequins were made for the Australian clothing company, 'Scribbly Graphics', to display its range of children's clothing in its Sydney stores.
Adrienne Higgs designed this collection of stationery, textiles and children's clothing between the late 1970s and around 2005. Her company, Scribbly Graphics, screen-printed many of these pieces, particularly the earlier works on paper and fabric. By the 1990s however, much of this printing was outsourced to Australian companies that included Petlee, Feral Fabrics, Melba Prints and Lani Durland of Ersatz.
Adrienne Higgs designed this collection of stationery, textiles and children's clothing between the late 1960s and around 2005. Her company, Scribbly Graphics, screen-printed many of these pieces, particularly the earlier works on paper and fabric. By the 1990s however, much of this printing was outsourced to Australian companies that included Petlee, Feral Fabrics, Melba Prints and Lani Durland of Ersatz.
Higgs' son Daniel Higgs also became involved in Scribbly Graphics, assisting with the design of some artwork including the 'Codswallop' and sun design, designing product and running and working in the Scribbly Graphics retail outlets.
Graphic artist, Adrienne Higgs, donated this collection of children's clothing, shop mannequins, printed stationery, slides and photographs to the Powerhouse Museum in 2007. These items represent the development of her screen-printing company, 'Scribbly Graphics', which she established in 1978 in Thirlmere in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Higgs later moved the company to Sydney where she opened three outlets for her range of printed children's clothing. She sold the company to a Japanese buyer in 2005.