William de la Mare


Art is the record
of the interplay
life and death,
the response in life
to the presence of death,
the embrace of death,
the stripping
to the core
of life.

Foundation Statement

I am a photographer, sculptor, and writer, residing on the North California coast with my BMW adventure motorcycle.

I opened the Water Gallery in Mendocino to show my photographs of ocean waves, taken from the coastal headlands of Mendocino.

I have concentrated on photographing water because I wanted to focus on the most elemental subject matter, and water - simple and beautiful, fluid and terrifying - is required for every form of life we know.

My water photographs are minimalist and abstract. I am interested in seeing water in a way that I do not ordinarily see it. I want to see the potential of life inherent in the water, whether through the stories and figures revealed in clouds, through the patterns of light playing over the shifting surface of a rushing stream, or through the energy released in the explosion of an ocean wave on coastal rock. I do not set anything up. I prefer to remain an observer. I want to see the scene as it is.

My writing comes from my love of stories, particularly the mythology, folk and fairy stories of the ‘old world’ - strange, magical stories that speak to me of the undercurrents of life, that depict fears and challenges, responses to little understood, potentially dangerous, forces. They are shared, common stories. Their roots are older than language. They reflect the archetypes of human experience, the angels and demons, the demi-gods, the pure forms of experience, the instinctual forces of survival.

I believe we do well to search the impetus behind our individual and collective actions. Our survival instinct is not infallible and, in the world, currently, we are faced with incredible and unprecedented challenges.

First among the challenges we face is simply understanding and managing our role on the planet. This is a challenge because, ruled by forces of behavior of which we are only vaguely aware and over which we are apparently largely powerless, we are in the process of destroying the balanced ecology of diverse life on earth, the very foundation of our own existence.

Much of the way we think and live needs to change. And yet we are pleased with ourselves - we congratulate ourselves when we ban plastic straws or charge ten cents for a plastic bag... in a supermarket filled with far too many unnecessary products that should never have been made, let alone packaged and shipped, sold and consumed, and then discarded as though all the accumulated cost has been accounted for.

The bulk of the material that makes up our current consumerist way of life is offensive. It is offensive because it undermines the best of the gains we have made. The actual goods we have now - the security, the independence, the comforts and conveniences, to the extent they exist - all of it is the reward for hundreds of years of stewardship by particularly-evolved cultures that made choices. It is not something we all just got, or necessarily deserve. Furthermore, it is something that can be lost very easily and all too quickly.

At the core of democracy is the right of the citizen to bear and apply an independent mind. That system is ideal when the citizens applying their minds are actually informed, when their minds have been trained to be logically critical, and when that critical faculty is linked to actual morality - a morality developed through actual empathy, sympathy, and selflessness.

We need to home in on what is actually valuable, not subject ourselves to the superficial, reactive subjective existence we have become so prone to, so comfortable with, that we have forgotten what real depth of purpose is, what real intention towards something beyond us, better than us, actually consists of.

Water Gallery, Mendocino CA

Email - WTJ.delaMare1@gmail.com

Water Gallery - 44969 Ukiah Street - Mendocino CA
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