Day 51: Natalie Papamichael

The lengths that today’s creative feminist (@nataliepapamichael on Instagram) has gone to uncover, reinvestigate and learn from the excluded and hidden herstories of women artists through her art and academia is an endless source of inspiration to me. 

Please may you introduce yourself and your practice.
My name is Natalie Papamichael (@nataliepapamichael) and I am a figurative artist. My work is developed from my personal experiences and my study of art history, psychoanalysis and feminism. I work predominantly in oil paint, acrylic and drawing.

How did you develop your practice?
My first exhibitions comprised works I produced in L’Hôpital Sainte-Anne in Paris. The works were figurative and naïve. I then returned to the UK to study at CSM where I created performances, which were inspired by the Women’s Art Library and my studies of feminist performance artists of the 1970s. I undertook an MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute, where I researched the exclusion of women artists from art history and academic training. As a challenge to this exclusion I began teaching myself to paint in the style of the old masters. I did a two-week painting course in Florence to learn the technique of Caravaggio and have continued teaching myself. My work has evolved from learning through copying women artists, to creating new narratives using my performances, self-portraiture and masquerade.

What inspires you and why do you love your practice?
I am inspired by the many women artists throughout art history. I love researching, reading and learning hidden herstories, which I then incorporate into my work. I love my practice because it allows me to express myself and tell my story. It gives me a voice when I have often felt I haven’t had one. I also have an illness and when I am painting it is the only time that I am not conscious of feeling ill. My practice keeps me sane.

What does it mean to you to be a creative feminist?
In my work I avoid explicit didacticism; I pose questions to inspire change; to make people look at things through a different perspective and to uncover what is not seen.

Natalie’s work is beautiful, stirring and complex; each piece is carefully crafted with a social commentary that is born out of Natalie’s great knowledge and love for history of art and feminism. I am a HUGE fan of Natalie’s work and a great believer of her mission(s), so it really is a huge honour for me to interview, share and celebrate Natalie. Please give Natalie a glorious welcome to the community by following her page @nataliepapamichael and by commenting your thoughts below. Thank you for posing questions that inspire change Natalie, you are an inspiration to us all.

If you would like to purchase or commission one of Natalie’s paintings or work with her on a project, you can get in contact via her website:

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