Swab the deck

Last year, just before the first lock down, I spent two weeks on board the Cielo Di Gaeta, a 183 metre tanker sailing through the Adriatic. I walked the ship recording sounds, taking photos and making watercolours. An assortment of brooms, brushes and squeegees lashed together in a bin, holding each other for comfort, caught … Continued

Still life (Every way you know)

My public works often employ the language of self-help or self-improvement, treading the line between what is affirmative in tone and that which borders on authoritarian. In the last year, in an ongoing series of works on paper, I have been exploring the language of the more destructive aspect of self-improvement. These wilfully negative texts … Continued

Drawing for ‘absent / tower’

I see the light house as a symbol of a moment in the present, with the beams of light it projects as the past or the future. The direction of time is muddled or hidden by the textures of my mind – thoughts, phantasms, illusions, apparitions.

Life Reform

Lebensreform (“life reform”) was a social movement in the late 19th and early 20th century in Germany and Switzerland that advocated for a back to nature lifestyle, with a focus on healthy food, vegetarianism, nudism, sexual liberation and alternative medicine. This can be considered as a precursor to the 1960s hippy movement, and were a … Continued

Codex de la Serie Homo/Logo

The Homo/Logo series (Homo, human or person; Logo, word or sign) are characters without gender, race, or economic condition. They are elements abandoned in their context, living in daily situations, a little exaggerated to show the futileness of being. Using the shape of the Mayan codices, the images recreate everyday events that cannot be seen … Continued

Even Darker Matter

This drawing was part of a series of studies for a 3D animated film Even Darker Matter which was part of my exhibition The Structure of Feeling at Block 336 in London from September-December 2020. The exhibition was a cartoon-like theme park with electric powered carts that transported visitors around an illuminated track. At various points … Continued


I was playing around with the idea of the three masks within the piece, and how they affect the senses differently. One masks the eyes, one the mouth and nose (like we have all been wearing), and one the whole face. It is an ambiguous circuit of desire (usually, being ambiguous to the right degree … Continued

Dangerous Curves – contagion i

Dangerous Curves, is a series of drawings made during the UK lockdowns of the 2020 Global Pandemic. The drawings refer to the ubiquitous graphs, seen in the early stages of Covid 19, with names ascribed to their lines like ‘do nothing’ and ‘flatten the curve’. These names provide a taxonomy of titles for the work. The Dangerous Curves reflect the historic … Continued

Little Tina

Much like Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s studies on paper, this piece is grounded in a brown watercolour wash, with pencil marks deftly used to sketch out the subject: a woman, who, although unclothed and perhaps a little self-conscious, projects the relaxed and poised demeanour which has become a signature of Somaya Critchlow’s work.

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