William de la Mare

General Information

I use Canon professional-grade
camera, lens, printer and ink, and
Hahnemuhle Baryta semi-gloss paper. 

Archival exhibition-quality prints, mounted
in white 100% cotton acid-free matboard,
can be commissioned in various sizes
through the Water Gallery.


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Maryland Institute, College of Art
New England School of Photography
Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Visual Arts and Sciences
Institut de France, Academy of Fine Arts
University of Connecticut, School of Law
University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies


Growing up in the vicinities of London and New York, and coming from a family of artists and art lovers, I’ve been exposed to the arts all my life. I received my first camera as a child and developed the interest through high school. I was scouted in high school and given a scholarship to attend art school.

Transferring into a more photography-specific path, I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with high honors from RIT. By that time, I was concentrating on photographing water and glass as a means of visually depicting spiritual/philosophical ideas pertaining to concepts of infinity.

My study in philosophy was concentrated in developing a system to help guide individual decisions towards personal health and well-being. My interest in law derived from my philosophical studies - law is one of the prime structures by which we train the evolution of society.

My legal interest was initially in constitutional law, but I soon shifted my attention to the governance and regulation of global financial services organizations and multinational corporations, and later, to the development of the global risk management industry’s role in mitigating environmental risk.

Along the way, I continued to photograph, wrote the first book in a trilogy of epic novels (currently working on the second), and also picked up on-and-off practices in wood sculpture and porcelain pottery.

In recent years I have returned my focus to water, concentrating on its various forms as I come across them – snow, ice, rain, stream, sea, mist, steam, fog, cloud - and, specifically in the last year, the Pacific Ocean from the Mendocino Headlands.

Artist Statement


These water photographs are the culmination of forty-five years of living surrounded by art, thirty years of photographic practice, and twenty-five years in conscious consideration of the human experience to the post-doctoral level.

The photographs reference the artists and thinkers whose works I have admired, but, more importantly for me, they reference elemental life - the simplicity of infinity, the forces of archetypes, images from dreams. They are about contemplation - they ask me to slow, take a breath, triangulate position, confirm objectives, then press on.

The waves are constant and forceful, relentless. They flow and clash. In certain light they are spectacular in their beauty, lighting up with greens and blues, or with pure, colorless-crystal transparency. They roll and slide, pirouette together in spouts, fold over one another, push up into the air and glisten in beads of refracted light.

I am always careful where I stand. I have learned to read the rocks - not just avoiding where it’s wet on big surf days, but to read the formation of the rocks as fortifications, as defenses by which I might expect any unexpected onslaught of water to be diverted. I always know which way I need to run, and I always wear shoes I can run in.

The menace comes from the waves that arrive like successive, hulking, spraying, churning walls of immeasurable weight. Our ancestors can be forgiven for thinking of them as representing an enraged god. Indeed, often in my photographs I find glimpses of gods or creatures, beings that would never have been seen had I not happened to catch them in that  single 1/8000th of a second frame.

The sense of life that I find in the ocean and in water in general brings about a sense of communion. It is like being inspired by a master that is wrathful when faced with carelessness, yet infinitely benevolent as the source of not just our existence, but that of the entire infinite ecosystem that we rely on to live.

Sixty percent of our bodies are water - every cell requires it to function - and yet fresh water is used up at an alarming rate and will become the world’s most valuable and fought-over commodity within the foreseeable future. Water is necessary to every form of life we know from the macro to the microscopic, and yet the world’s oceans remain increasingly polluted.

So for me the work is not just about communing with the beauty of water. It is also about showing that we should not take water for granted. It is too easy to look at the ocean and not see it, to look at a glass of water and not see it. As a matter of practical fact, water is everything to us. For that reason we should take time to hear what it is saying.

Note About My Process - I prefer to keep it simple. I generally limit myself to what I would theoretically be able to achieve with the traditional process. This informal limitation means I must rely on the source for intrigue. As a result, the photographs on display in the Water Gallery are true images taken with one camera and one lens of ocean waves on the Mendocino coast -  no filters, no special effects. Just simple photographs of water.

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Water Gallery, Mendocino CA

Email - william@motomendo.com
Follow on Instagram: @watergallery.mendo

Water Gallery - 44969 Ukiah Street - Mendocino CA
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