We catch up with the comical global trotting duo Aaron Glasson and Celeste Byers, who jokes aside both know where Australia is and we have seen their latest video collaboration on our shores at Mythology.

Ana, Acrylic on Panel. 6' 5" x 6' 5" (2 m x 2 m).

Ana, Acrylic on Panel. 6' 5" x 6' 5" (2 m x 2 m).

You guys seem to be masters of collaboration, what are the essential ingredients and what do you enjoy most about working with each other?

Miso soup, mint coconut ice cream (not to increase the coconut hype), and cups of coffee. Celeste tells him when his hippie soap isn't working. Aaron massages her aching arm (tendonitis from too much drawing). They enjoy that they always make awesome stuff together that is different to what they could make independently. Two is faster than one. And more fun! They can work together really organically without much deliberation. 

 

When it comes to art and collaboration, when and how did your journey begin? And where do you see it going? 

Long story short, Aaron curated an art show in Tokyo in 2011 and invited Celeste to send a piece over. Aaron had her email address and 2 years later he was teaching at a Design University in Sri Lanka. He decided to leave his job and sent a group email out looking for possible replacements. Celeste was the only one who responded so she went to Sri Lanka and decided she didn't want his job either. There they started painting murals together, fled to Vietnam, and the rest is history.  

What are some of the common themes that appear in your work?

Animals, sparkly things, distant planets, unseen by the naked eye things, watermelon inspired life forms, each other, Bollywood, and alternate realities.  

What plant, animal or element best represents each of you?

Celeste is probably a hot pink fluffy Koala Snake. Aaron is a turquoise hippo with braided pig tails and spaces between his teeth.   

Perfect as a Pelican, Gouache and Glitter on paper, 2015.

Perfect as a Pelican, Gouache and Glitter on paper, 2015.

We are really excited that you are going to be a part of the next Affectors exhibition coming up in June - what would you tell people about your art piece and why they simply have to see it ?

Their piece for the show is titled Dimensiones and is a video installation/ instructional video from a parallel universe. You've never seen anything like it and you'll learn some new skills by watching it. 

 

If you could design an ice cream flavour what would that be ?

Peking Duck. 

 

You live and work in Mexico, what role does art play in Mexican culture and society?

They are not in Mexico right now but have been spending a lot of time there the last couple of years. Mexico has a really rich and vibrant art and crafts culture. Each region has unique practices that often go generations back. It's a very inspiring place to be. 

 

What have been some of your favourite projects?

All of them.

Aqui Ahora Acrylic and gouache on panel. 2m x 2m.

Aqui Ahora Acrylic and gouache on panel. 2m x 2m.

I absolutely love your surreal artwork 'Aqui Ahora -  whats the story behind the work?

They lived and worked in Mexico City for while last year and made a body of work based on that experience. Aqui Ahora is a self portrait of them at that time. The boat represents their little one room apartment atop the city. The church, the statue, the pig were all in their neighbourhood. Mexico City sits on what used to be a giant lake (hence the pink lake).

 

How do you get your creative juices flowing ?

Brushing their tongues. 

 

If you were planning a trip to Australia what would you pack and what would you plan to do here?

They'd pack their German phrase book and woolly hats because they hear it's cold there. They'd probably visit Vienna and try some Apfelstrudel.