Saturday, May 26, 2012

Meet Your Maker: Pandarosa

Collaborative art groups are an increasingly fascinating development in contemporary art circles. Consisting of partners Andrea Benyi and Ariel Aguilera, art/life duo Pandarosa traverses graphic design, fine art, education and communications media. Hailing originally from Hungary and Chile, respectively, they have travelled extensively and have developed a unique visual language that reflects their many experiences living and working across the globe. Currently based in Melbourne they are lecturing at university level and pursuing creative work in a variety of fields. Their work has been featured in magazines like Frame, unMagazine, Tokion and Artichoke, and with exhibition experience in Spain, Germany, the US, Italy and England (amongst others) they've delivered a fresh new body of work to the growing artistic hub that is Kyneton, Victoria.

The many wigs and disguises (detail), 2012

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Pandarosa is a collaborative entity and I'm really interested to know how that came about.

The collaborative nature of Pandarosa began well before we decided to start our little venture at University where we first met. I guess there was a kind of 'gravitational pull' towards odd ball students who, to a certain degree, were 'anti-institutional' and wanted to think/create outside the somewhat strict outcomes of traditional Graphic Design doctrine. Luckily 2 of those happened to be us.

How do you find working together, is there a blending of your approaches/skills, do you take turns to build something, or is there a system you've developed?

opening night perusals

Working together while also being a couple can at times be challenging, but we've learned to manage each others strengths over the years so we're both able get the best out of one another.

Our approach varies, sometimes it will be Andrea who takes over a project or vice versa, it all depends on what is most suitable towards that outcome, conceptually or visually. At other times we'll work together on a singular outcome, swapping with each other over the process of creating a singular image.

For our artistic projects (exhibitions, etc.) our collaborative approach takes on a more conceptual level, usually creating works independently but always under a single theme/thought, with most of the 'hands on' aspects (installation pieces, hanging) coming together from both our hands.

I guess after spending so much time together we've learned to recognise what is most suitable quite quickly, while at the same time being able to give each other critique/advice about what we're doing from beginning to end.

For 'More or Less Concrete' there's a real sense of condensed time and place. How have you found the impact of travelling around the world on your work?

The work created for the show can probably be best described as 'fragments' of memoirs once lived: shapes, images and individuals we encountered either in fleeting moments or in deep meaningful ways. The title is, in many ways, a play on words which best describes our state of mind towards important solid decisions we must soon make such as where to call 'home'.

Taking these aspects into account, the biggest impact travelling has created on us, both personally and artistically, is hindsight and the ability to observe similarities as well as differences, not only within people but also structures, skies, soils and visions.

35mm photographs

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Thanks Pandas! You can check out more amazing work by Andii and Arial on their websites -

The exhibition only has one more week to run, so if you haven't popped in to see it, best get your skates on!

Ends May 6.