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Olivia Mathurin-Essandoh

MA work

The shock of the familiar

3.37pm on a friday afternoon.

College is done. 

We reach the chicken shop about seven girl strong. 2 wings and chips all round. The pound meal.

Take away because the back of the bus is waiting for us.


  • MA Degree


    School of Communication


    MA Visual Communication, 2017

  • Olivia is an illustrator with a definite interest in place, the mundane and overlooked narratives. Her work comprises of a myriad of esoteric layers informed by a passion for mass observation and self ethnography. Through her illustrations and writing Olivia aims to provide her audience with 'the shock of the familiar', whilst encouraging taking up of space and intergenerational discussion.

  • Degrees

  • BA Design for Graphic Communication, University of the Arts, London, 2015
  • Experience

  • Illustrator, Paper birds theatre company, London; Photography collection assistant, Hackney archive, London; Workshop facilitator, Peckham platform, London, 2016; Artist in residence, Doomed gallery, London, 2016; Workshop facilitator, Impact hub, Birmingham, 2016
  • Exhibitions

  • 3:45 - The shock of the familiar, Wolverhampton art gallery, Wolverhampton, 2017; Afro-portraitism, Republic Gallery, London, 2017; DRAW, Hockney Gallery, London, 2017; Seen and Unseen, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 2017; WIP, Royal College of art, London, 2017; Aint I beauitiful?, The Job centre, London, 2017; Decolonise not diversify, Impact hub, Birmingham, 2017; National Conference for Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE®), University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma city, 2016; Brick and salt, French riviera, London, 2016; Ridley road records, Doomed Gallery, London, 2016; The missing chapter, Rivington place, London, 2016; See them, Ridley road market, London, 2016; Secret 2016, Royal college of art, London, 2016; BHF, Chelsea school of art (UAL), London, 2016; Acts of looking, Southbank centre, London 2016; Diaspora Britain, Millennium point, Birmingham, 2016; SXWKS presents Dreality, Bussey building, London, 2016; Black British Girlhood, Darnley Gallery, London, 2015
  • Awards

  • Quentin Blake narrative drawing prize, 2017
  • Conferences

  • Representation, The missing chapter collective showcase, Autograph-ABP, 22/01/2016
  • Publications

  • Gal-dem, Olivia Mathurin-Essandoh, Gal-hood by Gal-dem, 01, 2017; OOMK, My brother the astronaut, Collecting by OOMK, 05, 2016