“I often start off a painting wondering where the story will unfold – so to me place is very important, whether real or imagined.” Kirsten Sims is constantly working on the art of capturing gesture with as few brush strokes as possible. She defines her style as theatrical and exaggerated, combining the seemingly ordinary with a curious twist to reveal the whimsy of everyday life. At the Stellenbosch Academy, where she completed a BA in Applied Design, she developed her particular sense of storytelling through illustration. Having never had a plan and believing strongly in ‘one thing leading to another,’ Sims has completed her Honours degree in Illustration at Stellenbosch University (2014), taught high-school illustration, worked on many commercial illustration projects, published her first children’s picture book and held both her first national and international solo shows at Salon91 and the Alison Milne Gallery in Toronto (2015) respectively. Sims says that she often feels like a stage director: creating the backdrop, setting the mood and then introducing the actors which range from people to trees to chairs. Between the set, the actors and the title of the work, Sims tries to see how much of a story she can tell in a single image. She draws immediate inspiration from her internal dialogue and the music and audiobooks she listens to while painting.
Upcoming Shows: 21 June – 29 July 2017, Saturn Return, a solo exhibition at Salon91; July 2017, Turbine Art Fair with Salon91. Selected Projects & Exhibitions: 2016 – The Spirit of Irma, a group show at the Irma Stern Museum; Oracle, an end-of-year group exhibition, Salon91; Leap Year, an online exhibition with Salon91; You Are Here, a solo exhibition at Salon91. 2015 – The Middle of Nowhere, a solo exhibition at Salon91; Middle of Nowhere, Canadian Edition, a solo exhibition at the Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto, Canada. 2014 – Paper is You II group exhibition at Salon91. 2013 – Aurora, all-female illustration group exhibition at Salon91; Emerging Creative at Design Indaba. 2012 – A Drawing a Day, online exhibit where a new illustration was posted to the artist’s blog daily.