William Douglas

The Same Difference Between Us and Them


Wavepool – What are some interests that are at the core of your practice?

William Douglas – Even though I mostly use a straight photographic style, I find using different approaches during a “series” to be useful. I love the idea of the one off in photography; it’s hardly used.  The core interest in the way I make work is trying to refresh the idea of narrative through one image and then when I group the pictures with other images to further a conversation. Through using these different styles, pairing gradients with straight portraiture and so on, allowing the idea/scene to dictate the approach rather than entering with a plan.  Because of living on the coast my whole life water remains an interest in my pictures as well. I try and attack grand themes such as life and death by means of minimalist imagery.

Wavepool – Do you create individual images with a specific narrative in mind for them? Or is their meaning as fluid as the overall relationships?

William Douglas – It just depends on the image. I don’t make a lot of pictures.  I think about photography a lot though. Occasionally I see an image worth making. So I come back when the light is right or the time is right… could be a day or a couple years. Other times I think of an image and wait until the scenario appears. I have a photo bucket list, and I think a lot of artists do. So yes there is meaning but I find it later in the contact sheets. My personal shit always shows up in subtle ways. Then,  I channel that through the edit. I work really slow when I make pictures so I have time to sort things out.


The Same Difference Between Us and Them


Wavepool – When you finish an edit, do you think that it will be the final resting point for the body of work and the images in it? Do images ever flow into new configurations or another body of work altogether?

William Douglas – It always continues on for me. The serial idea is draining In photography so if a project is never finished it’s easier to keep working and I reuse a picture in another grouping or “series” all the time. Pictures have different meanings when they are associated with other rectangles on a wall.

Wavepool – It’s funny to hear an artist describe a photograph as just a rectangle on a wall. Do any of your projects have images that you can’t imagine replacing with anything? In other words, can an image be more to you than a rectangle on a wall?

William Douglas – I heard that phrase “rectangles on a wall” from someone a while back and I have used it since. I have a great respect for photography, but at times it is limiting. But yes I have favorites from my own work that I don’t think I could replace and they are very important to me.


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The Same Difference Between Us and Them


Wavepool – Can you elaborate on what you see as the limitations of photography?

William Douglas – The limitation is different based on the situation. There is a time and place for all art. Sometimes putting an apple in the room is stronger than putting a photograph of an apple in the room. Saying that there are certain things photography can control and present that other art forms can’t.

Wavepool – What can photography do best in comparison to other forms?

William Douglas – “There is always an elephant just out of the frame” -Errol Morris


The Same Difference Between Us and Them


To see more, please visit William’s website.