In his review of the Campbell & Franks exhibition, Denis Thomas (loc. cit.) comments, 'Lowry's figure subjects can be more cryptic. One of them, inscribed in his own hand 'Sea Goddess in Top Hat', done for a friend who once owned several works on show, defies rational description. The artist's titles for his drawings sometimes act like a nudge from his elbow: a second glance at his pastel of a jaunty youth with spring in his step picks up the legend - 'Putting on the Ritz'.
He once described his figures as 'symbols of a mood'. Natural figures, he told his friend Mervyn Levy, would have broken the spell of his vision, so he made them half unreal. He observed them the way he did, so he said, because most of the time he saw them as merely interesting or ridiculous.
For all that, he still wants us to believe in them, and in the desolate locations where they loiter or shuffle, each one in his own small space, separated from the rest'.