Androulla Michael (b. 1983) is a British Cypriot emerging artist based between London and Norfolk, UK. She is a teacher of Fine Art and Photography, and Ambassador to IMkind; a social enterprise set out to influence positivity to humanity through acts of kindness.
For over 10 years, Michael has kept an ongoing selfie diary of her life through the removal and recording of her daily cosmetics. This became a ritual, a physical and metaphorical cleansing that occurred as each day came to a close. The process reveals much more than the pigments upon the surface of the swab or photo paper they would eventually adorn.
Each swab is photographed in large format to create an oversized detailed print, evoking a transformative visual landscape of the face on whose contours the makeup once resided.
Michael’s works invert every element of the selfie – giving the viewer a glimpse of herself that is more than skin deep. Rather than putting on a mask for the camera she takes hers off. By removing her identity from the image she chooses to focus upon the humanity underneath. Her interest in the work of Rembrandt’s self-portraits particularly informs her work, which explores the human condition and ideas of self-representation through autobiographical unembellished depictions of realism.
Quoting a recent review of her work by Helen Trompeteler Former Curator at the National Portrait Gallery:
“Androulla Michael’s intriguing images challenge historical notions of portraiture by removing any literal likeness of the individual. While Michael’s images are autobiographical in origin, she uses these diaristic images as a means of asking much wider questions concerning societal pressure for perfection or conformism. Where self-portraiture in popular culture often involves a form of social performance, these images are appealing in their abstract and subversive nature.”
2002 - 2005 Norwich School of Art, BA Fine Art
29 May - 02 Sept 2018, 'Join the Dots' an exhibition organised by the Luciano Benetton Collection for the Imagi Mundi Project, Salon deli Incanti, Riva Nazario Sauro 1, Trieste
2017 - Brussels Airlines Likes Art Award, The Loft, The Carrier's Award Winning Flagship Premium Lounge in Pier A, Brussels Airport, Belgium
2016 - The New York Times ‘Art For Tomorrow', W Doha Hotel, Qatar
2016 - Accessible Art Fair New York, The National Arts Club, Manhattan, New York
2016 - Life and Leisure –Postcards from (and to) Great Yarmouth, The Jetty
2016 - 1 WOW OF A TIME, Great Yarmouth
2015 - Summer Arts Prize, Lacey Contemporary Gallery, London
2014 - The Curated Ego: What Makes A Good Selfie? National Portrait Gallery, London
Brussels Airlines Likes Art Award 2017
Runner up of The Lacey Contemporary Summer Arts Prize 2015