16.03 - 09.04.2022

A solo exhibition by Kirsten Beets

Salon Ninety One is proud to present Wherever You Go There You Are, a collection of new paintings by Kirsten Beets. This will be the Artist’s eighth solo exhibition with the gallery.

“Wherever you go there you are” is a saying that seems to be almost comically obvious at first glance. However, this sentiment runs far deeper than this superficial reading of its meaning. This mindful musing considers that no matter where you go in the world, you take your whole self with you; there is no getting away from yourself.

Kirsten Beets reflects on her experience of working on an artist residency in the Netherlands. Although she was excited about being in a new place, the opportunity to have a space away from home for her creative practice, and to experience a different routine, she was struck by the understanding that trying to have a holiday from yourself is almost impossible. You are always yourself no matter where you go; you can travel as far as you can go but you will bring with you your quirks, idiosyncrasies and anxieties. However, this realisation was not negative for Beets; the Artist believes that acceptance of this fact can provide a pathway to finding inner peace with the person you carry with you. Not only does this acceptance of being wholly yourself reinforce your sense of identity, it becomes a nexus of comfort when you journey into the world; and with this comes a sense of peace and an ability to be fully here now and enjoy each moment.

In this body of work, Beets explores these liminal moments which exist between the worry of the unchangeable past and the uncertain future. Many of the works explore nostalgia, with their subject matter rooted in the past, which seek to capture a fleeting moment that often only exists as a memory. The pictorial plane, composed of flat colour with characters at leisure, becomes a meditative link between the viewer, the Artist’s own conception of inescapable personhood located within a geographical place, and the viewer’s own experience of inner acceptance of oneself. Through her delicate expression of people and places that feel familiarly nostalgic and yet magically imagined, the Artist hopes to remind you of the small things that bring a measure of peace.

If you would like to sign up to receive the catalogue or book a viewing slot, please click on the respective buttons below. Please note that the catalogue will only be released around midday on the opening day.






16.02 - 12.03.2022

Solo Exhibition by Jessica Bosworth Smith

A Very Grand Tour is a debut solo exhibition by Jessica Bosworth Smith.

"I first lived overseas in 2012 working as an au pair in Paris. During my year abroad, I extensively explored the city. And, while inhabiting the role of both tourist and Parisian local, learnt of a very interesting phenomenon, Paris Syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by an overwhelming sense of disappointment that reality does not match up to expectations that tourists sometimes hold of the city. Throughout my many trips to famous monuments, I felt that, yes, I could very easily see the burst bubble of romance in some tourist’s faces as they attempted to capture the perfect vista of the Eiffel Tour while trying to ignore the alarmingly large rats tearing at bins, overly familiar strangers reaching to high-five you whilst simultaneously rummaging through your pockets, and worst of all, other tourists attempting to experience the magic of the city at the very same time as they were. I was obsessed with taking pictures, like most tourists, and I never stopped to question why I was looking through a viewfinder instead of looking with my eyes. The reality of the diminutive stature of the Mona Lisa comparative to the extremely large crowd usually surrounding her is something many people can relate to. Despite the reality often falling short, I still took immense delight in discovering the city; the magic that seemed to lie in unexpected places, and the welling up of emotions that often took me by surprise. It was the turning of corners that excited me. The sudden stumbling onto a scene that unfolded like a tableau that felt like I had discovered a more real version of the city than the actual city I had been experiencing. This encountering of the whimsically unexpected began to change the way I interacted with the places around me. Over time, I began using a camera less and less, preferred travelling alone than with company, and would purposefully lose myself in a place to reflect on things that can only be truly examined when your comfort zone has been stripped away. For me, travel became about self-examination.

I’ve done much travelling since then. And from the many trips I’ve taken I’ve often wondered about the nature of being a tourist. To visit as a tourist is to both have a highly individualized, and often life-changing, experience and yet one simultaneously shared by many many others. And by the nature of your presence, and your subsequent remembering, you aid in the romanticization, flattening, and instagrammable-ness of the place. To tour a place is to create the tourist attraction. I have my own very complicated feelings about this simple fact. I want to inhabit, to experience, to take pictures, but I begrudge my own presence there.

The early photos from March 2020 of monuments completely deserted was like glimpsing into a parallel universe; a strange place where there was no such thing as a tourist. A place where dolphins swam in the canals of Venice, boars cavorted in playgrounds, and penguins waddled around Simon’s Town. These attractions which are defined by being visited now could only be viewed from a window, a screen, or relived in a memory. Suddenly, digital visitations to global destinations began to fascinate me. I started stockpiling images that were less about the place itself, and more about the feeling they evoked in me; those feelings I got and could examine honestly when I travelled, especially when I did so alone. So, I turned to painting. Firstly, with gouache on board and then to the 3-dimensional realm in ceramics. With my sculptural works, I explored the desire to collect and to find keepsakes; like little souvenirs from the places I’ve captured in my paintings. I want collection as a whole to come alive with the delight of feeling like you know this place, but I can’t be sure that you’ve seen it before.

A Very Grand Tour centers around my desire to teleport myself to new and wonderful places rather than to recapture the cities I had already visited. I wanted to create parallel worlds which were reality-adjacent; interiors of impractical and fantastic hotels or apartments, lush pools, perfectly preserved collections of things, souvenirs, and dense, vibrant jungles. Through painting, I could circumvent the plane ticket and travel restrictions and use the pictorial plane to go elsewhere. A place where only I can go, which is mine alone, where there is no reality to compare it to, that tells me everything I need to know about myself."

- Jessica Bosworth Smith



15.01 - 12.02.2022

Group Exhibition

Exhibiting Artists:

Chloe Townsend
Joh Del
Kirsten Beets
Lucy Stuart-Clark
Tara Deacon


Salon Ninety One is pleased to present The Island; a group exhibition featuring Chloe Townsend, Joh Del, Lucy Stuart-Clark, and Tara Deacon. The exhibition will open on the 15th of January and conclude on the 12th of February 2022.

The concept of an island is one that has fascinated and captivated our collective imaginations. From deserted sandbars to large land masses teaming with life, islands are so enticing because of their capacity for endless possibility. An island is defined by its isolation; however, islands are not alone in the expanse of the sea. Under the waves, each island is connected, and their birth is a triumph of destructive creation.

Each island holds the opportunity for nature to experiment almost without limitation; birds of paradise with feathers and beaks of all colours and shapes, schools of tropical fish in unexpected hues and patterns, impossibly ancient turtles and tortoises, menacing coconut crabs, the strange architecture of shells, coral gardens below and lush jungles above, reef shark nurseries and cleaning stations for manta rays, treasures shaped by nature or lost at sea, stinging jellyfish glowing gently in the dark, gigantic spotted whale sharks with gaping mouths, improbable fauna which can be both beautiful and deadly, and endless shades of blue. Untouched and self-contained, the island can explode into a riot of fantastical life in almost alien forms that the boundaries of the real and impossible seems to shimmer and almost disappear.

What does that sliver of land out on the horizon hold? That question has inspired myths and folklore, influenced humans to leave the safety of the shore on a voyage of discovery, and caused us to reflect on the very nature of our humanity and our relationship with the natural world. The allure of an exotic, near-utopian escape which is physically separated from our daily lives by an ocean is especially potent after the long months of lockdowns and travel restrictions. Even the idea of white sandy beaches, pristine turquoise water, ripe and juicy tropical fruit, coconuts, and palm trees swaying in the breeze seems like a fantasy now.

The notion of an island creates a setting where our societal structures are stripped away, and our more primal nature is laid bare. Their fragile and wonderous beauty captivates our imagination and exemplifies the power of the natural world. Our human curiosity cannot help but be enchanted by an unknown island’s promise. However, the nature of their very existence leads us to make landfall cautiously; for the beguiling beauty of the island can ensnare and bewitch those who dare to wash ashore.


If you would like to sign up to receive the catalogue or book a viewing slot, please click on the respective buttons below. Please note that the catalogue will only be released on the evening before the opening.


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