TOVL: Crazy Creative Fusion Between Life Partners
Vicki Lee and Ted O’Donnell met 4 years ago in a fruit shop in Australia, where they instantly connected over their mutual, imaginative love for the flavors and colors before them. From there love blossomed, not only for each other, but within the art that they would create together as TOVL, a wonderful fusion of their opposing forces and creative strengths. We caught up with the duo for an insight into creation with a lover, and their delicately beautiful photographic artworks.
How have you both influenced each other’s styles, and have you noticed subsequent changes since you began creating together?
Ted’s eye for detail and perfectionist attitude is amalgamated with my wild, more instinctive process. We have a joke that in the fire we create together, he is the earthy log that sits at the base of the fire and keeps it burning through the night, and I am the leaves and twigs that get the fire started but burn out hard, and need to be stimulated and replenished regularly. I learn from Ted every day and our art and creative process is a part of that for sure.
What are the challenges and benefits of working in a creative partnership?
Making art with a lover is as you would imagine. There are high points and low points. There is an electric excitement when the ideas flow in and we embark on a new adventure. We have had a few pre-shoot arguments but where they take us is always where we need to be creatively.
It’s amazing to open your mind and heart to first include and understand someone else’s creative vision, but then to merge it with your own to create something new and separate is incredible.
Describe your artworks to someone who has never seen them before.
Our artworks are a macro world of botanical wonder, where scientific exploration meets unhinged human inspiration. We begin with the sensuality of the flower, and allow it to take hold of our artistic urges and from there anything can happen.
A technical photographic study of the flower merges with the abstract and freely expressive artistic process. Our work really is a reflection of our union as a couple. Of course, virility, sensuality and life force being the core of it all.
Do you have an overarching message that you like to communicate throughout your practice?
Don’t deny the pleasure in life.
Where and who do you draw inspiration from ?
Our most inspired space is in the kitchen and cooking is the most amazing mode of expression – the colors, the transformation of raw ingredients, the infusion of love and of course, the pleasure of eating.
Where will we see you next? What are you guys working on at the moment?
We are 9 months pregnant, so we are deep in the flow of the ultimate kind of expression and creative union. We made a baby!