Artwork by
Artwork by Lex Trickett

AUTONOMY WAVE: Future 76 // Meeting the Artists

The exhibition Future 76 under AUTONOMY WAVE will take place on the 30th of June. We would like to introduce the artists who will be collaborating for this exhibition.

Jéad Stehr @mistehrjead

“I borrowed my dad’s camera one day when I was 12, promising to return it after I took a few shots, and to this day I still haven’t brought it back to him. At first, it was arbitrary subjects, like clouds or a pipe that looked interesting, but as I started to fall more in love with working with the camera, the more I loved coming up with concepts and being able to relay the idea through the camera. I loved the ability to communicate an idea to someone that would be indescribable otherwise. The act of transferring your thoughts to another person. It’s a way of changing beliefs and opinions.

Generally, I write long pieces or poems to accompany my work. Sort of like a description trying to capture the essence of the photo. Sometimes the poem inspires the photo, and other times I scramble for words to bring meaning to my work. I like subverting the viewer’s intentions and serving up ideas and ideals that make a viewer think. A lot of the time I like to work with models of colour because I’m very passionate about creating a safe space for POC. Where they can look at a piece and relate to it themselves, which is something we don’t get to do often in the media.

I really like the idea of this project. Giving the youth a platform to exhibit themselves is so important in a country where funding for the arts is lacking and we are in dire need of fresh creative talent. The broader theme of self-narration in relation to the city is also quite perfect for me. We are going through a time, not only in Johannesburg, but South Africa as a whole, where hate is running rampant, and I think this project could be used to bring a mirror to the behavior and actions we are constantly being bombarded with via the media.”

Doodle by Jéad Stehr


Seth Pimentel @african_ginger

“My name is Seth Pimentel.

I’m a 22 year old illustrator and visual artist.

I was born and raised in the city of gold, Johannesburg.

My art comes from a side of me I don’t like. It stems from my own self deprecating thoughts. Sometimes your greatest motivation is your own self hatred. I know that’s rather macabre, but sometimes pain is the greatest catalyst of growth.  I illustrate, so I draw whatever I feel and whatever I think flows from me. It’s in itself is my own therapy.

I’m a young artist in my city; I fall into the category of the youth. This is our month, and this is our opportunity to create together. We learn and love from our collective creativity shared.”

Doodle by Seth Pimentel


Cahil Sankar @cahil

“My Name is Cahil Sankar, and I’m a 19 year old Photographer from Johannesburg. I started taking photos from a very young age, and found that it was one of the few things I could not stop doing. Having severe ADHD, I was surprised at how something as simple as picking up an old point and shoot camera, could suddenly quieten my mind. Photography allowed me a stillness that I hadn’t ever experienced before.

My mom worked for the ANC’s intelligence structures during the Apartheid era, and I feel that that has strongly influenced my political ideas as well as the images I am drawn to capture.  Through my photography, I aim to hopefully, portray honest and vulnerable narratives and emotions of my subject matter. I feel that being able to observe other peoples’ stories, has allowed me to shape my own narrative as a person of colour in our society. Having the creative freedom to interact with so many different people, I have come to realise how important creativity and the arts are, in terms of youth self-empowerment.

South Africa has a large number of talented youth, and because of this I feel incredibly privileged to have been given this opportunity to work in collaboration with some brilliant young artists. Thank you Bubblegum Club.”

Doodle by Cahil Sankar


Mariam Petros @disorganizedgoat

Mariam Ekaterini Petros, born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Inspired by artists like Tretchikoff, Kahlo and Dali. Petros is on the path of discovering her individual style. She works predominately with ink but practices with a variety of mediums. She attended the National School of the Arts. Petros participated in the Youth Arts Massif Exhibition in 2016 at the King Kong Building in Johannesburg. Petros is currently a tattoo apprentice at the Emerald Rain Tattoo Parlor and is studying Printmaking at The Artist Proof Studio.

“I’m drawn to the project in a sense that I find it difficult to display my art on platforms other than on social media, with a disadvantage of being a part of the youth art culture, this project forms an opportunity that creates a platform for youth artists. I’m especially interested in this project in particular as it is based in the CBD which I’ve grown up in and have always had a love/hate relationship with. I’m looking forward to exploring the different tasks that come with this project and being able to collaborate with fellow young artists.”

Doodle by Mariam Petros


Abi & Claire Meekel @meek.meekier.meekest

“The Meëk journey began 2 years ago. Meek is ultimately a movement and a social experiment to see how many people will follow and be inspired by what Meëk does. We love working together with other artists to expand this movement. It will be interesting to see how meek can collaborate with some of the artists in the Bubblegum project.

I’m eager to use the given space as a medium to expand Meëk as a sort of progressive installation. This meaning that both Claire and I have discussed that we will do several illustrations, paintings, prints, small sculptures that merge into the space, so that it becomes a small little world that the viewers can partake in. We will definitely photograph and document our progress on social media so that our audience can grasp our context and creative process. The idea is that we inspire youth to create their own art. Show people that we are young artists ready to create and speak to the world, and that we are not confined by the existing art world. There aren’t limitations; we are in an infinite dimension.

A little bit about Meëk:

We have a list of mediums we work with some of which include animation, illustration, film, embroidery, sculptures, installations, design, graffiti, fashion and painting. It is interesting to work with different mediums because it also allows us to explore and progress. A valuable concept in the existence of Meëk is that it travels through different forms and dimensions which embodies the main concept. Meëk is our left foot. It’s a part of us but it isn’t everything. It is not who we individually are as artists. Meek simply is; a collaboration, a part of the two of us. We still have a few more worlds to show you.

Sound and Photography are important mediums that I often experiment with but I mostly work with these mediums outside of Meëk, individually.”

Doodles by The Meeks

Photography by Marcia Elizabeth

Share This Article

Suggested Posts