The third conversation in the series Collaborations in Contemporary Art is to be streamed live on Friday, October 30th at 13:00 where Hanna Styrmisdóttir will have a conversation with the artist collective Lucky 3. The stream will be accessible at

Collaborations in Contemporary Art is a series of conversations hosted by the Department of Fine Art at the Iceland University of the Arts in autumn 2020 between artists and artists‘ collectives and Hanna Styrmisdóttir, Professor of Curatorial Practice at the IUA. Artists will discuss their collaborative practices, their methods and processes, with specific examples of exhibitions or projects that highlight the many ways that collaborations happen in the expanded artistic field.

Lucky 3 is a collective founded by Darren Mark, Dýrfinna Benita Basalan, and Melanie Ubaldo; Icelandic artists of Filipino origins.

Darren Mark (b. 1993) graduated with a BA degree in Fashion Design from the IUA in 2017. He moved to Iceland from the Philippines when he was only eight years old with his family. Darren has exhibited at Dutch Design Week Eindhoven, Designer’s Nest- Copenhagen Fashion Week and Design March.He mainly works with clothing, from design and artistic aspects where the deconstruction-reconstruction method is applied, sustainability is also an important part of his working methods where discarded or second hand clothes, deadstock materials are thought of and used as a resource alongside new materials for creations.

Dýrfinna Benita Basalan (b. 1992) also known under her artist name Countess Malaise, is born and raised in Iceland. She graduated with a BA in Art and Design from Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2018 and has been an active artist in multiple disciplines and venues. Dýrfinna is also a member of The Blue Collective which is a collective of artists who work exploring  contemporary philosophical thematics in an amorphous format. In her painting and drawing, her style often found femme and fantastical and full of fantasy.

Melanie Ubaldo (b. 1992) graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the IUA in 2016 and is currently in the MA Fine Arts program in the IUA. In Melanie’s work, image and text are inextricably linked, where deconstructionist paintings incorporate text with graffiti like vandalism oftentimes of her own crude experiences of others preconceptions, thus exposing the power of immediate, unreflected judgment. She has taken part in various exhibitions home and abroad. Her work has since been acquired by the Reykjavik Museum for the permanent collection.


From Lucky 3's exhibition Lucky Me? in Kling & Bang in 2019:

Welcome to Lucky Me? brought to you by the Lucky 3. The Lucky 3 are of Filipino origins. The exhibition is a nostalgic interpretation of Filipino culture. The title of the exhibition is a wordplay on the ubiquitous Filipino instant noodle brand; Lucky Me!, a staple of every Filipino household.

Unreliable narrators at best, our voices speak of diaspora- of people experiencing constant displacement, renovation and salvaging heritage in the face of cultural loss. Motifs from Filipino iconography are deconstructed and chaotically reconstructed anew, thus evoking a sense of nostalgia and belonging to a people disenfranchised racially and on a socio-economic level. Hopefully this will be a learning experience to our mostly white audience, a peek into the reality of Iceland’s Filipino community.

The series is organised by Páll Haukur Björnsson Programme Director at BA Fine Art, Sindri Leifsson, project manager at the Department of Fine Art and Hanna Styrmisdóttir.

Series schedule:
25 September: Claire Paugam and Julius Pollux
16 October: Magnús Pálsson
30 October: Lucky 3 – Melanie Ubaldo, Darrin Mark, Dýrfinna Benita Basalam
27 November: Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson