© Matthew Arthur Williams
This exhibition debuts a new body of work by Glasgow-based artist Matthew Arthur Williams, marking his first major solo exhibition in a UK institution.
Throughout his career Williams’ work has developed through close collaboration with others, creating projects that explore visibility, care, love, family, memory, representation and resistance. His work expands on traditional understandings of portraiture by concentrating on defying erasure, building an archive of subjects and shifting narratives considering what it means to be Black, to be queer, and to inhabit rural environments.
This exhibition spanning both galleries at DCA will centre around a newly commissioned film and sound installation alongside photographic work, developed using conversations, interviews and materials from both public and private histories, records and archives. In this work, Williams draws together a number of disparate places – particularly Stoke-on-Trent in England and Clarendon in Jamaica – which intimately connect to a far-reaching and complex conception of home for the artist.
Many of the production techniques used within this project are deliberately analogue in nature, including black and white photography and 16mm film. These delicate processes bear the marks of the artist’s hand and body more readily than their digital counterparts, which we are all used to consuming at an accelerated rate through screens and monitors in our daily lives. In his work Williams refuses modes of rapid consumption in favour of slow and careful approaches to considered and responsible image making.
The title Soon Come is also a gentle invitation to slow down our thinking in fast-paced environments. In the West Indies, particularly in Jamaica, ‘soon come’ is an elusive sentiment that bypasses a specific idea of time or progress and instead embraces the unknown and ungraspable. For Williams, the meaning behind this phrase hints at both the immediate and the eternal: “It’s multiplicitous. It’s between now and never.”
There will also be a new book published as part of this project containing newly commissioned texts by writer and curator Nydia Swaby and scholar and poet Gabriella Gay.
About the artist:
Matthew Arthur Williams is a visual and sound artist, photographer and DJ. Williams was born in London and now lives and works in Glasgow. He completed his BA at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2012.
His work has recently been exhibited at Jupiter Artland and Johnson Terrace Gardens as part of a commission for Edinburgh Art Festival (2021). He has further developed exhibition projects and commissions with the Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow (2022), Viborg Kunsthal (2021), Street Level Photoworks (2019) and Transmission Gallery (2017).
Recent close collaborations include ongoing work with Ajamu and Alberta Whittle, and Williams’ research has recently been supported through programmes at CCA Glasgow, The Bothy Project, Hospitalfield and LUX Scotland.
With thanks to the William S Phillips fund for their support of this exhibition.
Dundee Contemporary Arts
Dundee Contemporary Arts 152 Nethergate Dundee DD1 4DY