Ah, Instagram. You seductive labyrinth of eye candy, you. From envy-inducing Berlin street style, to elfin Parisian brunettes trotting along to fashion week and pastel-hued scenes of the Italian coastline; it’s a voyeur’s nirvana all within reach of your hip pocket.
But what happens when we go into voyeurism overdrive? We subconsciously start lusting after things we can't afford, comparing ourselves to people we've never met and generally feeling unsatisfied with our lot. The solution? Treat your feed with the same caution you would your circle of friends – steer clear of the vapid types and fill it with those who stretch your mind and spark your imagination.
Robert Montgomery is a Scottish-born, London based sculptor and poet. He uses light and text based public installations to display his melancholic and often highly political prose, underpinned by his university studies in Situationism and Marxism. His billboard poems, light pieces, fire poems, woodcuts and watercolours have been exhibited all over the world, including Berlin, New York and London.
Why follow? There are a lot of text based artists in the world, but few are as dexterous with the written word as Montgomery. The combination of language, form and light shared in communal spaces is both thought-provoking and hauntingly beautiful.
Simmons is a New York based photographer with an intriguing fascination with dolls, ventriloquist dummies and themes of domesticity. Her 2014 series 'How We Seek' draws on the 'Doll Girls' culture of people who alter themselves with makeup, dress and cosmetic surgery to look like Barbie dolls and anime characters.
Why follow? Get a glimpse into the life of this prolific New York photographer, who also happens to be Lena Dunham's mother.
Mayan Toledano’s photograpy embraces feminism, featuring beautiful, empowering portraits of women from all cultural backgrounds, including her native Israel. In her recent intimate series of teenage Israeli soldiers, Mayan was looking to redeem a small piece of her girlhood during which she served as a soldier herself and was stripped of all cultural ‘feminine’ symbols.
Why follow? Toledano has an eye for capturing femininity, enhanced by a dreamy pink colour palette and wrapped up in the hazy glow of nostalgia.
Based in the Lisbon, Portugal, photographer Teresa Freitas is fast building a social media empire for her whimsical, surrealist aesthetic. With works created both in and out of the camera, Freitas is a true visual storyteller for whom nature is a constant inspiration.
Why follow? Freitas creates an otherworldly universe, where faces are replaced with flora and airborne scarves traverse seascapes, taking on lives of their own. Visual escapism at its best.
Luursema is an Amsterdam based photographer who arranges and photographs indoor plants, an obsession which has gained her more than 30,000 followers. She documents windowsills in dappled in the afternoon sun and brimming with lush perennials and succulents in quirky coloured pots, lined up like tin soldiers.
Why follow? Luursema’s images are like a breath of fresh air for the senses and will likely induce a visit to your local nursery for some green healing.
Perth bred artist Rebecca Baumann is fixated on a concept central to human existence: the intimate relationship between colour and emotion. Her work is characterised by explosive use of colour, movement and spectacle, employing festive materials such as confetti, tinsel, smoke, balloons and streamers which are violently brought to life by fans, ball-throwers, clocks and detonators.
Why follow? View the world through Baumann's technicoloured lens, including her inspirations, her world travels and interesting collaborations with the likes of Vivid Sydney and fashion label Romance Was Born.
Michael Christopher Brown
Based in Brooklyn, Michael Christopher Brown is a photojournalist who unveils a very human dimension on conflict regions across Africa, the Middle East and South America. Brown has an eye for capturing strikingly intimate moments and intense emotion, lifting the lid on everyday life in third world countries which Westerns rarely see due to geographical distance and the one-eyed agenda of the mass media.
Why follow? His photos are exquisite, emotionally resonant and they will give you some perspective on the true meaning of ‘first world problems’.
Known for her hauntingly beautiful, pseudo erotic installations which are equal parts exquisite and grotesque, Kitson has carved a name herself as one of the country’s most ground-breaking contemporary ceramicists. Her 2015 work, Something Sacred was a chaotic festoon of horse hair, antlers, fangs and more phallic objects than you can poke a stick at, so heavy that it required a crane to install it.
Why follow? Ogle Kitson's stunning, otherworldly ceramic forms at all stages of creation. Her adorable pet goat Chi also makes a few cameos.
Hughes-Odgers is a Perth born painter, illustrator and street artist who has garnered a huge world-wide following for his wall murals of charming, fairytale-like stick figures. He has painted large scale murals in New York, Berlin, Washington and London, to name just a few.
Why follow? It's rare to find a street artist with such precision and skill - Hughes-Odgers is a drawer at heart and it's fascinating to see such intricate drawings blown up to a huge scale.