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Great Yarmouth teacher making an impact in the art world with unusual ‘selfie’

PUBLISHED: 09:50 18 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:06 14 October 2015

Androulla Michaels, fine art teacher at East Norfolk Sixth Form, has had this work on show at the National Portrait Gallery

Androulla Michaels, fine art teacher at East Norfolk Sixth Form, has had this work on show at the National Portrait Gallery

© GB Fine Art Photography

A Great Yarmouth teacher is making a name for herself in the art world after her innovative ‘selfie’ went on show at the National Portrait Gallery.

Androulla Michaels, fine art teacher at East Norfolk Sixth Form, has had her work on show at the National Portrait Gallery. The piece was 'favourited' on Twitter by influential curator  Kathleen Soriano.Androulla Michaels, fine art teacher at East Norfolk Sixth Form, has had her work on show at the National Portrait Gallery. The piece was 'favourited' on Twitter by influential curator Kathleen Soriano.

Androulla Michael, fine art and photography teacher at East Norfolk Sixth Form in Gorleston, had her work screened live at the London gallery as part of a one-off debate, entitled ‘the Curated Ego: What makes a good selfie?’ During the show Ms Michael's work captured the eye of influential curator Kathleen Soriano, director of exhibitions at the Royal Academy, who took to Twitter to “favourite” one of her unusual self portraits.

“The work gained a great response, but at the end of the night the cherry on the cake was when my work was favourited by Kathleen Soriano,” said Ms Michael, 29.

“Since then, the work has also been acknowledged by Saatchi Online and the National Open Art Exhibition.

“I have also been approached by the gallery Highwaymans, in Bury St Edmunds, to showcase my first solo exhibition based on this project.” Ms Michael's works chosen for the National Portrait Gallery were from a recent project called Internal Landscape. They are part of a collection of innovative self portraits created by combining paintings with what she calls “cameraless photography”.

The artist, raised by a Greek Orthodox family in Yarmouth, has worked at ENSF for eight years. The students, she said, give her inspiration every day.

“Being in an art environment where I am surrounded each day by mature, dedicated and fresh talented students not only gives me pleasure to share my own skills and knowledge with them, but allows both the students and I to bounce ideas and newly discovered art techniques and approaches between each other as though we are at art school.

“And this inspirational energy that is created as a class together naturally feeds into both the students artwork and mine.

Following the success at the National Portrait Gallery, she is entering her work into this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

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