Tom & Jacq By Joseph Willis

— Intimate French Engagement

Jacq & Tom by Joseph Willis
Jacq & Tom by Joseph Willis

Love is a friendship set to music- Joseph Campbell

A documentation of love that immediately captured our attention, an almost tangible rawness, a purity communicated effortlessly through the lens of LANE handpicked photographer Joseph Willis.

This poetic French engagement saw Tom & Jacq weaving throughout cobblestone pavements, the journey of two luminous barefooted souls intertwined in synchronistic movement, wines in hand. Joseph elusively capturing every stolen glance and symbolic moment… 

Words from Tom...

We fell in love like this... We met up one day, and then were separated by a desert for months so we just wrote to each other like clockwork. Our imaginations filled in all the spaces in between with words and ideas and snippets from books.

What love means to us... I think love is mostly about sacrifice - because when it grabs a hold of you, you have no choice but to answer to it and follow it despite whatever self fulfilling journey you thought you were on. And that humility is liberating. Thats the best part about our love - its not a feeling that you choose, because it was already there - like its probably been forever. It’s nice in that way; its the one thing that is free of complication or burden or definition for us, and we live creative lives where we’re always reading and dreaming and asking why? - but love is there as the only constant - like your breath. Kahlil Gibran says that love has no desire but to fulfil itself and thats the ultimate objective we feel - to free yourself of hesitation and be able to rely on something like love. Its something only you two share, but you can’t touch it or see it, but its changing colour all the time and its yours - only yours.

Our home is.... We’re just renting this little house on the south coast of Sydney. We’re lucky here, wedged between a mountain and the ocean so the sky is constantly playing light tricks, and there’s lots of good people. We’ve spent a lot of time in remote and sometimes difficult places, so to have a relatively sleepy town to come back to is essential.

Our relationship is inspired by... Nature. Writers like Thoreau. Wild animals. Humour. Mainly each other - One of us might witness the other go through this really good place in their mind, and it has the ability to lift you up with them. We’re also inspired by the understanding that all life is fleeting. The abandonment of expectation or worry is pretty inspiring.

Our next adventure is... France, Italy, Morocco. The Danish Arts Foundation runs residencies for architects and designers in Jorn Utzon’s old house on Mallorca, so we’re looking into that. Jacq and I also want to go to Japan next year. I’ll probably head out to Utopia in the Northern Territory soon too to catch up with some old friends. Always heaps to do. In a way though, we feel like staying in one place with a garden and some dogs feels more adventurous. I don’t know why.

I knew Jacq was the one because/when... My dog wouldn’t leave her side. Your dog in many ways is your closest companion and records all the best parts of yourself - the part of yourself that is free of negativity, anger or frustration. When they find that in someone else it’s pretty clear you should listen to it.

Something we've learned... Your best self is presented while walking. Climbing a mountain or walking a trail together helps you practice silence, considered and honest ideas and the importance of looking after each other.

My favourite discovery about Jacq was... She’s better at fly fishing than me. She also has this incredible ability to hold her strength through her entire emotional spectrum effortlessly. I’d never met anyone that had that kind of strength before. You can really notice it around animals - they are drawn to her and she to them. That kind of attraction is contagious.

The proposal went something like this... I woke up before Jacq in the Kangaroo Valley on my birthday and briefed my labrador Belle on her involvement in the plan. I took off up the hill in private while Jacq slept and write a note referencing something from the Wizard of Oz. Later that day, we snuck into Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay while Jacq gave minimal attention to suspicion from the distraction of a large format Kit Kat. My loyal friends had built a door and stood it up in the forest, and just like we’d discussed my dog was waiting in the paperbarks somewhere through the door with some Bollinger Grand Année champagne and poorly scribbled note. We hung out there for a few days after, drinking red wine through the day and sharing notes in moleskins.

Our favourite thing about Joey’s work is... His honesty and dedication to his craft. Both he and his fiance Tane are so in tune with what light can do, and they both see beauty in the things most wouldn’t. The art they are making feels really natural, probably due to their ability to adapt to the moment and just have fun extracting beauty out of the ordinary. But in the work is this deeper technical understanding of ones equipment and the craft and I think it’s that combination of spontaneity and diligence that makes the work engaging.

The most memorable moment from the shoot was... The stones under our bare feet as we ran around at dusk through this ancient hill town. Beynac et Cazenac is perched on this steep cliff and your imagination fills out the laneways with musketeers, french history and weather that has shaped and smoothed over the stone. Everyone was just really happy and free. We were all there together, in a foreign place with a foreign language, all of our closest friends, who’ve shaped us and we them, all laughing and drinking wine underneath a castle above us while we skipped around the streets. It was like a dream.

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