Jessica Bosworth Smith

Jessica Bosworth Smith is an artist who is interested in exploring the narrative potential of contemporary painting. Each piece contains exciting and unexpected elements which demands a closer look to appreciate the details; creating unusual and layered dialogues between the artist’s imagination and viewer’s. Bosworth Smith’s scenes, often depicting sumptuous interiors, eclectic exteriors, objects of interest, sprawling jungles, and cats at leisure, are an exploration of her interest in space; both familiar and fantastical.

Working primarily in gouache and using thorough visual research, the artist uses her artwork to both re-experience places she has travelled to and to weave together extravagant scenes which are neither feasible or, seemingly, practical. The artist loves to create seemingly familiar scenes through a maximalist lens, using a riot of pattern, texture, and detail. Bosworth Smith’s love of cats and the strange cultural significance of the trope of the “cat lady” has demarcated her paintings as zones of play where she explores themes of being alone without being lonely, covetousness without jealousy, and passionate collecting of things without obsession.

Jessica Bosworth Smith received her BFA from Rhodes University and her Honours in Visual Studies (Illustration) from Stellenbosch University (Cum Laude) as well as a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. She was named one of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives of 2017, was part of the Top 100 in the ABSA l’Atelier in 2017 and 2018, participated in the Comic Blast residency at the Arteles Creative Center in Finland in 2018, and has published two books through Imagnary House.



2022 - A Very Grand Tour, solo exhibition, Salon91, Cape Town. 2021 - When it's hot out and you wanna have a good time, group show, Salon91, Cape Town. 2020 - A Hazy Shade of Winter, group show, Salon91, Cape Town. 2019 - Wildflowers, group show, Cape Town. 2018 - Folklore, group show, Salon91, Cape Town; ABSA l'Atelier 2018, group show, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg; Midnight, group show, Salon91 for Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg; What It Is, group show, Absolut Gallery, Stellenbosch. 2017 - Nature's Lessons, group show, Ahem Art Collective, Cape Town; A Place Between, group show, The Drawing Room, Cape Town; The Secret Life Of, group show, Cape Town; Contemporary Botanical Art exhibition, group show, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town. Those Who Eat the Tail, ABSA l’Atelier Top 100 exhibtion; selected as one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives.


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