Drawing for change

A new generation of social-minded artists for a digital age.
By Keely Moloney


When scrolling through Instagram you might expect to find endless streams of selfies, carefully articulated food-shots and a not-so-subtle candid or two of Kendall Jenner.

However, the social media networking app is proving to be more than just a medium useful for the most covert of social media stalkers and selfie takers. Rather it is becoming a rapidly growing platform for young creatives to share their work and voice their opinions online.

Here are 3 of the most need-to-follow Australian artists on Instagram guaranteed to spice up your feed.



Name: Celeste Mountjoy
Age: 16
From: Melbourne

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Why you should follow her: Celeste’s work offers a satirical take on social and political issues. From politics (who doesn’t love seeing Donald trump ‘breaking the internet’ Kim Kardashian style?) to feminism to race issues, Celeste leaves few topics untouched.

Her art boldly mocks the world around her, as she has been quoted saying that much of her work is inspired by people she comes across on a day-to-day basis. Mountjoys bleak humour is what makes her artwork so entertaining, once you start scrolling through her account you can’t stop; each drawing more angst-ridden and relatable than the last.


Name: Matt Adnate
From: Melbourne

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Why you should follow him: Matt Adnate’s street art is among the most influential in the world. Often depicting indigenous children, Adnate believes in giving back to the communities of his subjects. He has been known to spend time with Indigenous communities in Arnhem Land and the Northern Territory’s central desert photographing subjects that would later be painted onto wall murals. His art acts as a communicator between social groups within Australian society, prompting passers-by to become more engaged with Aboriginal communities by paying homage to their traditional lands.

It is an undeniably crucial part of our history as a nation and serves to diminish the prejudices still ingrained in our society today. Prints of Adnate’s work onto canvas are available for purchase on his website and often sell for up to $7000. In true street art practice, however, Adnate’s art is available for interaction and viewing by anyone, be it via Instagram or on the walls of Melbourne themselves.



Name: Joanna Thangiah
Age: 26
From: Sydney

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Why you should follow her: Joanna Thangiah’s art focuses on what she describes as “Feminism, mental health, and fragments of my inner monologue” through quirky and colourful comic style depictions of female characters in all shapes, sizes and colours. Joanna’s refreshingly sharpwitted commentary coupled with her depiction of empowered, unashamedly imperfect women make for some truly badass artworks. This has certainly not gone unnoticed by her 40,000 followers on Instagram alone, proof that a project that began as a vehicle to combat Thangiah’s own battle with an eating disorder has reached out to empower and inspire other women world wide.


Photocredits: Joanna Thangiah, Adnate and Celeste Mountjoy.

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