Venture into “The Middle of Nowhere” with illustrator Kirsten Sims

Kirsten Sims’s first solo exhibition takes us to a place where fantasy and imagination are essential ingredients of life.

Cape Town-based illustrator Kirsten Sims has a knack for combining the seemingly ordinary with a curious twist to reveal the whimsy of everyday life. Her first solo exhibition, The Middle of Nowhere, is showing at Salon91 until 18 July.

“My work is exaggerated, gestural and playful,” says Sims, who got her break as an Emerging Creative at Design Indaba Expo 2013.

Her paintings are a throwback to the wild creatures and fantastical humour of Roald Dahl and Dr Seuss, and while there may be no cats in hats or tiny Whos, she kindles a similar kind of fun. She prefers painting as a medium because it allows her to “gently make fun of the world I live in”.

Though humorous and child-like, The Middle of Nowhere offers a more “grown-up” subtext. The exhibition is not necessarily about far-off or deserted places, Sims says, it is “about real, but mostly imagined moments, conversations, events, occasions and memories from my experiences and observations that provoke the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere”.

She may have felt this way herself at times, but Kirsten Sims is definitely going somewhere with all of this.

“The Middle of Nowhere” runs from 24 June – 18 July at Salon91 in Cape Town.