Blue Velvet

Ted O'Donnell x Vicki Lee
Blue Velvet

May 20 - June 18, 2017

Partners in art and life, painter Vicki Lee and photographer Ted O'Donnell fuse their interest in the physical, elemental forces and rhythmic movement of nature in a series of photo media prints titled Blue Velvet.

In Blue Velvet, a rose in full bloom is enveloped by billowing clouds of ink, water and air, disrupting its classical form and producing an image of both chaos and quietude. These powerful images are portraits of change, or stills of movement and variation.


Q&A with Vicki Lee

How do you manage to juggle the demands of your individual and collaborative careers?

Sometimes it feels like we've got it all figured out. Every facet of our lives is packed into a neat little sub category and they all fit together like a perfect game of tetris. Most of the time though, its all merges into one big rainbow of colours and there is a lot of overlap - breast feeding at photographic studios has become a norm ;) 

One thing we always make sure we make separate time for is each other, without any talk of "work". Romance makes our machine run as a well oiled one so really, having a date outside of the house is the best thing we can do for our careers.

How do you select the flowers you work with / do they have symbolism beyond their aesthetic beauty?

We select the flowers we use very meticulously. The same way a casting of models would take place, we discuss the different elements we are looking for for each piece. Ted and I shoot nude abstracts as well and I think its clear from our journey that our interpretations of roses and the female form are complementary, if not synonymous.

How do you achieve those amazing 'water-cloud' effects? 

A lot of water, paint, chemicals and patience.

Favourite artists/inspirational people?

Aung San Suu kyi is my forever idol. We love Ed weston, Iriving Penn. I love the boldness of Ben Quilty's work. Im obsessed with the life and journey of Van Gogh . The list could go on forever. We have a lot of respect for other artists. 

How has creating a family altered your work/practice?

Amazing things happen when you have decreased time and an increased sense of purpose. The days of staying up all night with a few drinks and very loud music may have passed momentarily, but all in all, I'd say creating a family has been majorly beneficial on our work. The love drives our collaborative work so we are rolling smoothly with it with our two babies in tow.

    What gives you joy? 

    Giving love to my babies (aloooot of it) and seeing it be eaten up like a huge bowl of strawberry ice cream. Not one drop goes to waste.


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