The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

The Solace of Cupboards

David Mark Williams is a poet, and we've been good friends since we met nearly 10 years ago, shortly after I moved to this corner of Scotland.

6 years ago, as I was beginning to develop my photography, a photo I took of him had a profound affect on the my approach to portraiture and reset the course of my career. Out went seeking rusty doorhandles, peeling paint and crocuses popping up through the snow, and in came moody portraits with texture, landscape and lots of shadows.

Don't mess with The Poet...

Over the past couple of years I've been dipping in and out of using the video capability of my camera. Although I don't see it replacing my photography any time soon, there is something quite fascinating about the moving image, while trying to keep my photographer's eye.

So it seemed appropriate that Mark (as he's known to his friends) and I should start a project together where I would film him performing his poetry to camera.

We've decided to see if we can create a handful of short films, each one different in filming style, as a way of me to develop my understanding of filming and editing, and for Mark to have a vehicle to expand the number of people exposed to his creations.

Our first venture was "The Solace of Cupboards" - about a man who finds peace away from the busy office, by standing in the stationery cupboard.

By starting with this one, it allowed me to tie in with that original photo, by filming it with a single light coming from the side, giving that feeling of nestling in the shadows.

Hope you enjoy it


savannah said...

b/w is perfect for the poem. i'm not sure about the edits, they were almost distracting from the words. i'll watch again. looking forward to seeing how else you film him. xoxo

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - thanks for the feedback - much appreciated :)

Jonathan Chant said...

Couldn't resist the title. The poem and video are pitch perfect. They compliment each other beautifully. I could watch this repeatedly. I love the way Mark delivers his superb poem. Well done.

Lynn said...

A strong team.Looking forward to more.

maurcheen said...

I love it.
That accent sounds almost Irish.

Carole said...

Excellent. Love both the video and the poem. Looking forward to more.

hope said...

One of my favorite photo subjects come to life! :)

I love how it reminded me of that first photo. To be able to hear him speak was such a treat! Thanks to both of you. Can't wait for the next one.

Pat said...

I know how very difficult it is to talk to camera but Mark is great - not only a poet but also a worthy actor.
One of your gifts is to relax people and infuse them with confidence.

Guyana-Gyal said...


I love it.

Love love it!

I like the pauses, the changes that go with the pauses, the half-light, half-shadow.

Mark and camera are one. Pat is right, he's a born actor.

Can't stop saying how much I love it!

Kim Ayres said...

Jonanthan - it was a learning process for us both. Mark discovered it worked better by paring back his delivery from the style he uses in live performances, where he's needing to be seen and heard by people sitting further back :)

Lynn - thank you :)

Maurcheen - he's Welsh. He's not got much of a Welsh accent, although it comes through on some words more than others, and of course he can bring it full on whenever he chooses :)

Carole - thank you :)

Hope - you've always liked this photo. Glad you felt it was a treat :)

Pat - it helps that Mark's performed his poetry to live audiences many times, but the quiet intimacy of just the 2 of us making this meant we could do several takes and hone his performance :)

Guyana-Gyal - really pleased to have such a positive reaction - thank you :)

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