A student's self-portrait, featuring herself as a small doll, has gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

Leila Marshall, 21, secured the prestigious gallery space after she entered a competition organised by Channel 4.

Self Portrait UK challenged people to design an original piece of work that reflected their own image.

Hove-born Leila, a final-year art student at Manchester University, took a photograph of herself and the doll both wearing the same clothes.

It was chosen from among thousands of entries to be part of 100 exhibited works. The photograph will be on display in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) until June, when the exhibition will tour Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester and Belfast.

Leila, whose family live in King George VI Drive, Hove, was delighted to have her work shortlisted.

She said: "I had already made a little doll of myself as part of a previous project and I have always liked craft-based work."

The judges commended her self portrait as "intriguing and thought-provoking as well as being a strong image."

They said: "This creation of a doll in the maker's own image and photographed in a way that revealed the scale of the doll but only a hint of the maker was thought to be a very creative response."

Leila was invited to the glitzy opening ceremony of the exhibition and was amazed by some of the other work she saw. She said: "There was a whole range of people at the opening.

"There were a few art students and lots of others from all sorts of backgrounds.

"Some of the pictures were very moving."

Twelve of the 100 pictures were chosen to be featured on short programmes being shown on Channel 4. Although Leila's piece did not get selected, she is still very pleased her work is getting high-profile attention.

"I can't believe I managed to get my work exhibited in London. It can be quite easy getting your own exhibition in Manchester but I never thought it would happen in London."

It is not the first time Leila's artwork has helped her gain the limelight.

Three years ago, while she was studying for a National Diploma Design Course at City College Brighton and Hove, she won media coverage for designing a remarkable evening dress made entirely from train tickets.

Leila praised her old college for helping with her success.

She said: "The course taught me everything I needed to know. My degree course is really a development of what I learnt at City College Brighton and Hove."

Carolyn Wright, programme area manager for general art and design courses at the college, said: "A great emphasis is placed here on thinking techniques, designing and experimentation.

"Leila was particularly good at employing these skills, especially in relation to manipulating found objects into new textiles."

Leila graduates from her BA(Hons) in interactive arts degree in the summer. She hopes her recognition by the NPG will stand her in good stead for her future career.

She said: "I'm hoping to stay in Manchester because I have settled there now. Hopefully, I might get some commissions from my work at the NPG or from my end of year show."