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Until recently Avis Higgs (born 1918) was one of New Zealand's almost forgotten talents. Born and trained in Wellington, she was, during the years of World War II, Head Designer for Silk and Textile Printers in Sydney. There she earned for herself a reputation as one of Australasia's most innovative textile designers.
Avis was awarded the Governor-General Art Award in 2006 as part of the Festival Exhibition of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. Avis is also listed on an Australian Government website as one of four "key historical figures" in Australian design.
She was head designer for Silk and Textile Printers in Sydney, a company known for its innovative Art Deco designs, in the 1940s. She later sailed to England where she worked as a textile designer in London and Manchester but was seriously injured in a road accident on the outskirts of Rome in 1951. After a long recuperation, she returned to New Zealand and took up painting.
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