Project Pages

Trying to Get Home (video)

Trying to Get Home – an illustrated talk featuring images from a variety of projects. This presentation was given at Edinburgh Napier University as part of its Photography Lecture Series. It aims to show aspects of my work in the context of non-duality.



Promenade (video trailer for full-length version)

A moving image piece incorporating video, binaural sound and slow-dissolve photographic imagery. It celebrates The Big Busk, a significant annual community event on Portobello Promenade (on the outskirts of Edinburgh) involving performers of all ages and capabilities playing music across all genres.



Dreaming Difference

These conjoined diptychs are extracted from the ongoing, extended series, Dreaming Difference. They combine seemingly disparate elements to allude to underlying, potentially infinite interconnectivity. Made from myriad everyday observations, the koan-like pairings have a pithy, lyrical sensibility.

2014- in progress


The Illusion of Agency

These images are of tiny plastic figurines (no bigger than one’s thumbnail) originally intended for use in architectural models. The work questions notions of free will and choice.




This body of work was made in Kyoto, by the banks of the Kamo river. It comprises a series of images of couples of all ages and backgrounds, sitting by the river- talking, courting, taking lunch, or simply watching the river flow together. Historically, the Kamo river has been the location for such activity for many, many years. The couples are seemingly separate groupings, but they are essentially united by and inseparable from, the ‘constant’ backdrop of the flowing river.

The work exists in print form, but was also shown in Kyoto as a slow dissolve video installation in the Weissraum Gallery which is situated by the Kamo river itself.



one taste: (n)ever-changing
(88 Places)

one taste: (n)ever-changing is the overarching title of an extended body of work carried out over recent years at a variety of Japanese Buddhist temple sites, mainly in Kyoto. It was completed in 2007.

Within this, '88 Places' is a typological project based on each of the Orin (devotion bells) at the 88 Omuro Ninaji Temples, a popular site of pilgrimage. Using serial strategies, the intention is to interrogate inter-related, dualistic notions of 'time', 'space' and 'self' and to produce the visual equivalent of mantra.



one taste: (n)ever-changing (Tofuku-ji Zen temple)

A series of 8 triptychs of a cedar tree shot throughout the same day at Tufuku-ji Zen Temple, Kyoto. 

... the rigid formalism of these images is designed to connote the dialogue between nature and culture, permanence and change, form and emptiness ...

...Williams has created these triptychs by isolating the sections of each image to the left and to the right of the tree trunk and reproducing these scenes as the flanking panels. But, in each case, the section that sits to the right of the trunk is reproduced as the left hand panel while the section to the left of the trunk is presented as the right hand panel.  The linear progression, the sense of time unfolding, is made to turn back on itself so that present, past, and future become one ‘(n)ever-changing’ thing.

Dr Tom Normand



one taste: (n)ever-changing


Stillness and Occurence

'Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.' (The Heart Sutra)

These large scale colour seascapes were made over a five year period and taken from the beach at Portobello, Edinburgh.

Mobilising an essentially redemptive aesthetic, Williams creates a mesmeric space fostering a capacity for contemplation on the part of the viewer. (Dr Sara Stevenson)



Source was comissioned by The National Galleries of Scotland for the Contemporary Room of the exhibition Light from the Dark Room. This installation consists of 5 closely hung metre square sections.

... we see light coming out of darkness and hear sound coming out of silence ... the mirroring of the images about the central void makes a great embracing crescendo. 
(Dr James Lawson)



Findings... Bitter-sweet

Originally shot on Polaroid SX-70 and then enlarged for final presentation, this work represents a semi-autobiographical journey. It was later made into a photo animation.

The argument of the work is that the bitter and the sweet are not epithetical, but are woven into the very substance of existence.

(Dr James Lawson)



Is: Ecstasies I-XXII

The points of light and recurring signs and symbols, with their vague reference to archetypes, are the notes of harmony and discord in a musical pattern that resolve unease into calm assurance.

(David Chandler)



Post Office Commission

This body of work was commissionedby the GPO in Scotland to celebrate its 350th anniversary.



Pictures From No Man's Land

This artist-in-residence project was commissioned by St. Margaret's School for Girls, Edinburgh, in conjunction with the Scottish Arts Council.

'I sought to allude to the universal process whereby children grow into adolescents… the concomitant, inexorable shift from innocence to self-consciousness.

David Williams

... one of the most absorbing and informative visual records of the late 20th century

Norman Parkinson



Royal Wedding