Wet Paint: A Social Experiment in Social Distancing by Baba Tjeko and Curious Lauren

WORDS Cheri Morris


Local artist and designer Baba Tjeko and art director, illustrator and designer Lauren Colin Mitchell (aka Curious Lauren) recently teamed up with Stella Artois to create “Wet Paint”, an art installation-cum-social experiment that aims to prove that social distancing needn’t be anti-social.

As part of the experiment, eight locally-made benches by Pedersen+Lennard have been placed in easy-to-spot locations around Gauteng, including Menlyn on Main in Pretoria, Mall of Africa Waterfall Park in Midrand and Sandton Gautrain forecourt.

Baba Tjeko

Curious Lauren

In the middle of each bench is a brightly painted mural, created by either Baba Tjeko or Curious Lauren, as well as a hand-written “wet paint” sign that hovers above – even long after the paint has dried. Through this mischievous placement of “wet paint” signs, people are encouraged to sit alongside, yet apart from each other – bringing to life the message of social distancing that is often easily forgotten.

See how the experiment came together in this short video:

Love this installation? Check out “Together Apart” – another social distancing-inspired installation by Curious Lauren for Stella Artois.