Matthew Arthur Williams: In Consideration of Our Times

In the afternoon, I, 25th May 2021, courtesy Matthew Arthur Williams 

22 March – 15 June 2024
Preview 21 March 2024, 6-8pm

Stills is delighted to present an exhibition of new photography by Matthew Arthur Williams.

Williams is a Glasgow-based artist who has become known for a visual arts practice that explores themes of race, queerness, memory and history. A key concern that he addresses in his work is the absence of representation and how this can be perpetuated by formal histories and archives. For Williams, memory is something that has to be worked on constantly for hidden histories to be revealed, retold, celebrated and preserved.

In Consideration of Our Times features a selection of entirely new colour and black & white self-portraits and landscapes which Williams describes as being, “in a state of constant loss”. The methodical, slower-paced process of analogue photography, using a darkroom to bring pictures to life from photographic negatives, is something that Williams values. All the work on display has been produced in the publicly accessible photography darkrooms at Stills and at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow.

About the artist:
Matthew Arthur Williams was born in London in 1989 and is a Glasgow-based artist, photographer and DJ. Often collaborating with others, Williams’ work typically incorporates photography, moving image and sound. In his 2022 exhibition, Soon Come, at DCA, Dundee, he combined archive material with filmed documentary footage, interviews with family members and self-portraiture to explore the complex histories tied to people and place, particularly those of Jamaica and Stoke-on-Trent. His work has recently been included in the exhibitions: Five By Five at Incubator, London (2024) and Pictures of Us at Gathering, London (2023). His solo exhibition, Soon Come was presented at Dundee Contemporary Arts (2022) and his work has been included in group exhibitions at Viborg Kunsthal, Denmark (2021); Edinburgh Art Festival (2021); Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (2021); Schau Fenster, Berlin, Germany (2020); Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist (2020); Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow (2019); and Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2017). He completed a BA in Photography at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2012.

“A vital part of our role at Stills is to support, nurture and promote photographic practice in Scotland. By offering solo exhibitions to artists and photographers based here, we provide a valuable platform for practitioners to test and share new ideas. Matthew Arthur Williams has developed a distinctive visual arts practice in Scotland and we are excited to give him this opportunity to showcase his recent photography – a medium that he has described as an anchor in his creative output and a passion since childhood. We are proud that Matthew has also been able to produce all the work on display using our publicly accessible photography darkrooms as well as those at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow” – Ben Harman, director of Stills

‘At the top of the list for me when producing work that carries multiple themes or subject matters, my obsession with the power of image making and how we read an image comes first. My work is saying something very loudly to me, and I like to leave it up to the viewer if those things resonate for them. This show at Stills is no different and continues to take a moment to stop or move at a slower pace.’ – Matthew Arthur Williams