Maya El Nahal

Artist Statement

Through a multi-disciplinary practice, I connect with the liminal spaces of Spirit and Nature by exploring death as a gateway to Other. I am heavily invested in process, often working outdoors with materials taken directly from the landscape.

Time and experience act as my creative foundations: walking and being with a place are apical. Observational, expressive drawings then form the backbone of a practice that incorporates sculpture, photography, movement, and writing. Objects or aspects of the place call out to me and form my starting point. From these initial works and experiences, themes and ideas emerge which seed more experimental and challenging works.

There is a seam of darkness to my practice, a commitment to the chthonic and decayed. Our society likes to distinguish and categorise, especially between natural and unnatural, good and bad. My practice and lived experience as a mixed ancestry non-binary/fluid queer person show me these boundaries are a myth. The world is in a state of constant becoming; existence dismantles and births itself in an endless, amoral, tentacled web. There is an unexpected beauty to this indifferent and vital cycle of the fed becoming the fed upon, a magic that breathes through the rot as much as the bloom: my work is a ritual for this magic.

Currently I am based in Glasgow, learning about mycelia and feeling out multispecies kinship in the urban landscape. Here, I seek to examine and unpick the restrictive ideologies that pervade our culture and society; to be an agent of death for heteronormativity, colonial mindsets, and patriarchy, and compost their ashes into something Other.



Image credit: Cara Forbes


Selected Residencies, Exhibitions, and Publications

2024 Abject Bodies joint exhibition with Ames Truscott, SaltSpace, Glasgow
2024 Across: The Placenta as Organ of Transecology, article in Metachrosis Literary Magazine
2024 Muestra Compuesta group exhibition, VETA, Santiago Chile
2024 Trans Ecologies editorial board for special issue journal section
2024 Hospitalfield Graduate Mentorship and Residency
2023 Correspondences group exhibition, VETA, Santiago Chile
2023 Correspondences group exhibition, Art Spot Korin, Kyoto, Japan
2023 Monochrome and Travel open call exhibitions, Glasgow Gallery of Photography, Glasgow
2022 Lateral Lab: Correspondences, graduate virtual residency prize
2021 Who's Afraid of the Dark? Feature article in Art North Magazine International
2020 Imagining an Island open call exhibition, Taigh Chearsabhagh North Uist
2020 Scottish Nature Photography Awards (second place Student category)
2020 Overfall joint exhibition with Cara Forbes, Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist
2019 Uncovered Artistry open call Exhibition, GSA Intersectional Feminist Society, Glasgow


2017 - 2021 BA Fine Art (Hons), University of the Highlands & Islands
2010 - 2014 BSc Biomedical Sciences: Neuroscience (Hons), University of Edinburgh

Using Format