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Wales Week / Berkshire : Spotlight : David Wilson Photography

For 2024 we are introducing Wales Week / Berkshire Spotlight Days, a chance for you to learn more about some Welsh organisations and listen to some of their favourites tunes which you can find on the Wales Week / Berkshire 2024 Spotify Playlist.

Today being St David's Day we are shining the Wales Week / Berkshire Spotlight on another David.

David Wilson the amazing photographer from Pembrokeshire whose photography is bound in books and displayed on restaurant and private dwelling walls all over the world. Last night at a Wales Week / London restaurant I was chatting to a couple who didn't personally know David Wilson but knew his distinctive work having eaten at Thomas at Tom Simmons (if you're looking for a fabulous place to eat in Cardiff look no further).

Hinterland is both a book of the Ceredigion landscape and a record of the making of an iconic show, David collaborated with the programme’s creators Ed Talfan and Ed Thomas.

David Wilson's love of photography began at 17 when he bought his first camera. He spent many carefree days riding around Pembrokeshire on his motorbike with his 35mm Canon and an Ordnance Survey map, learning to take photographs while exploring the coast and countryside. The motorbike is now history due to his habit of colliding with objects but thankfully his passion for photography is as strong as ever.

"The landscape of Pembrokeshire and Wales provides an idyllic playground for a black and white landscape photographer. In my work I seek to capture the country’s many different faces; the windswept coast of mid-winter, a derelict farm cottage, the faded grandeur of a rural chapel or the rugged contours of a mountain pass.  The story of Wales is told through its landscape and it is this narrative that I seek to capture in my work."

‘These are powerful images. They remind us that rural Wales has a stark and demanding beauty.’ Griff Rhys Jones in his foreword toWales: A Photographer’s Journey

David writes on his website "My favourite seasons for photography are late autumn, winter and early spring when the sun’s arc is low in the sky, each composition enhanced by highlight and shadow.  Those seasons are also blessed with ‘proper’ weather: rain coming at you side-on; wind that threatens to cut you in half; frosts that numb the extremities."

He was brought up in the county town of Haverfordwest and now live a few miles downstream in the riverside village of Llangwm, Pembs not Conwy in the North (home of Llangwm Literary Festival) with his wife Anna and sons Charlie and Harry. 

"With the water just a stone’s throw from our back garden, it provides endless inspiration.  On a clear morning I often head along the foreshore and round the corner to Port Lion for sunrise.  It’s a wonderfully solitary experience, knowing it’s just me, the crisp early morning air and occasionally the village’s resident gaggle of geese who have made Llangwm their home."

St David was born in the year 500, the grandson of Ceredig ap Cunedda, King of Ceredigion. According to legend, his mother St Non gave birth to him on a Pembrokeshire clifftop during a fierce storm. The spot is marked by the ruins of Non’s Chapel, and a nearby holy well is said to have healing powers. St David himself was reputed to have consumed only leeks and water – which is perhaps why the leek became a national symbol of Wales and his surname was Waterman.

His last words to his followers came from a sermon he gave on the previous Sunday: 'Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.' The phrase 'Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd' - 'Do the little things in life' - is still a well-known maxim in Wales and today we also celebrate Random Acts of Welshness.

To find out more about Pembrokeshire and to plan your first or next trip Visit Pembrokeshire have a wealth of knowledge on their website.


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