Steeped for Peace

Matthew Arthur Williams 


About the edition

This edition by Matthew Arthur Williams was created with our Print Studio team to accompany his solo exhibition Soon Come.  

Framing small moments in time, this print represents the layered, residual traces of lived events, gestures and human interactions highlighted by the artist. Williams developed this edition using a still from his film Soon Come - a single instant from a performative event described by the artist as "an improvised performance…a tug of war...trying to grab and grasp the other person's hand".  This image was adapted to soften and reframe the interconnecting hands - intersecting the space like a horizon and bringing attention to the fragile tension of the subject upon paper.  

The overlaid image is composed of hibiscus flowers used by Williams to make tea, and then transferred to the Print Studio and carefully arranged to create a soft-ground etching, printed with gold ink through which the underlying image can be seen. For Williams the hibiscus tea evokes moments infused with significance; rituals of community and of taking time to recollect:  

Hibiscus…in Jamaica, we call it sorrel - this hibiscus plant was carried over by the colonial administration...the Atlantic slave originates in West Africa I think. We boil and let it steep for quite a long time, add pimento, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, have cold, or warm, with alcohol, with ice. I wanted to bring the sorrel into the work because we are used to that in our lives as...not a peace offering, but...a warm gesture. Matthew Arthur Williams 

Together these images recall print as a tactile means of representation, combining the photographic with the hand-printed, through pressure and removal, leaving visual imprints of live actions and human presence. In the artist's words: "[I call it] Steeped for Peace because in a way the hands and the hibiscus are both doing the same thing…performative gestures can be used as a metaphorical tool for other things in my work such as conflict, things that we internalise…things that we carry. "


Year 2022
Edition of 20
Media Soft-ground etching and archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 310gsm paper 
Dimensions 27.8 x 28.5cm 
Signature Signed by artist on lower verso

About Matthew Arthur Williams 

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.  


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