16/03/2022 until 19/04/2022

“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. Wherever You Go There You Are, 2022. Oil on board.

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 seeks 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.

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