Leica LAB

Learn. Grow. Create.

Leica is proud to introduce the Leica Lab programme, an exclusive learning experience through the Leica Akademie with a focus on creative strategies for building a photographic narrative. Each lab is an online two-week intensive learning experience taught by industry experts with backgrounds in commissioning, shooting, editing and curating work. The 2021 programme includes labs on portraiture, community and landscape photography. Leading photographers and curators from each genre will work alongside the programme creative director and producer. It is ideal for the professional or aspiring professional who would like to improve and add structure to personal projects or commercial work. Participants will be assigned a creative brief, providing inspiration for each workshop’s theme. They will be challenged and supported by this experienced team of industry leaders with the aim to encourage experimentation, collaboration and peer-to-peer support as a means to develop your visual language.



The Portraiture Instructors are Robbie Lawrence, Sabina Jaskot-Gill, Sophie Wright & David Axelbank

LEICA LAB // PORTRAITURE // MAY 2021: View this course

Photographer: Robbie Lawrence

Robbie Lawrence is acutely attentive to the way images tell a story. Working with a painterly softness and sensitivity to his subjects, the Scottish photographer deals in detail and nuance. From portraiture, travel and documentary to editorial work, he places the human experience front and centre to create thoughtful, abstract images, with an emphasis on narrative. Lawrence is represented by Webber. His second book ‘A Voice Above the Linn’ was recently published by Stanley Barker books (2020).

Curator: Sabina Jaskot-Gill

Dr Sabina Jaskot-Gill is Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Recent exhibitions and displays include Martin Parr (2019), John Stezaker (2019), Rinko Kawauchi (2018), Simon Frederick (2018), Siân Davey (2017), Thomas Ruff (2017), Akram Zaatari (2017) and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Previously, Sabina lectured on the history and theory of photography at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and has held positions at Tate, Autograph ABP and the University for the Creative Arts. 

Creative Director: Sophie Wright

Leica Lab is conceived in partnership with Sophie Wright. Sophie Wright is an independent photography & art consultant with over 20 years’ experience in creative programming and strategy, artist and collections management and sales within the photography market. She worked for Magnum Photos from 2003 to 2020 and was Global Cultural Director from 2015 overseeing exhibitions, commissions, prints sales, book publications and talks programming.

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Book projects she has overseen include Magnum Contact Sheets (2011) and Magnum China (2018) with Thames & Hudson and Magnum Photobook: A Catalogue Raisonee (2016) with Phaidon. Exhibitions include Now is the Time: a collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group and Kram Weisshaar (2013), David Hurn’s Swaps (2017), The Body Observed (2018) and Open for Business – a history of Magnum’s commissioned work (2020). Wright’s experience of commission projects led to the development of the Magnum Live Lab in 2017 – a programme of experimental residencies for Magnum’s photographers held in a number of global locations from Shenzhen (2017) to the High Museum in Atlanta (2021).

Producer: David Axelbank

David Axelbank is an educator, production specialist and photographer based in London. With over 25 years’ experience, he has been involved in numerous areas of the photographic industries. He was a Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Photography course at the University of Hertfordshire from 2008 to 2016, where his principal areas of research were professional development, and industry development with a focus on increasing students’ industry involvement.

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Prior to that he worked for Magnum Photos New York and London for 10 years as the Production Manager, overseeing the agency’s archive digitisation, daily production, including exhibition printing and book production. He is a widely published photographer whose work is represented by Gallery Stock.

The Community Instructors are Liz Johnson Artur, Renee Mussai, Sophie Wright & David Axelbank

LEICA LAB // COMMUNITY // JUNE 2021: View this course

Photographer: Liz Johnson Artur

Liz Johnson Artur (b. 1964, Bulgaria) lives and works in London. Her practice includes photography, film and installation works, capturing and engaging with people for more than 30 years. She has exhibited internationally, with solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the South London Gallery in London, both in 2019.

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A new solo exhibition will take place at FOAM in Amsterdam in autumn 2021. Group exhibitions included the Serpentine Galleries, London; Barbican, London; The Photographer’s Gallery, London; 10th Berlin Biennale; David Nolan Gallery, NY and Kunstverein Leipzig.Her work is held in public and private collections in the US and the UK. Johnson Artur went to the Royal College in London for an MA in Fine Art after studying photography at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Fotografie in Munich. She received the Turner Bursary in 2020 and was shortlisted for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize in 2017 and the Vera List Center Jane Lombard prize in 2018. Her monograph with Bierke Verlag was listed by The New York Times in the section ‘Best Photo Books 2016’.

Curator: Renee Mussai

Renee Mussai is a curator, writer and scholar with a special interest in African and diasporic lens-based visual arts practices. She is Senior Curator and Head of Curatorial & Collection at Autograph, London, a charitable arts agency working internationally in photography and film. During the past two decades, she has organised numerous exhibitions in Europe, America and Africa, and lectures regularly on photography, visual culture, and curatorial activism.

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Her recent publications and exhibitions include Lina Iris Viktor: Some Are Born to Endless Night—Dark Matter (2019/20), Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama—Hail the Dark Lioness (2017 – present); Phoebe Boswell: The Space Between Things (2018/19); and Black Chronicles IV (2018). Mussai is Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg; Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts London and since 2009, regular guest curator and former Fellow at the Hutchins Centre for African & African American Research at Harvard University. She is also a part-time PhD candidate in History of Art at University College London where she is currently completing her doctoral thesis on nineteenth century ‘raced’ portrait photography and contemporary curatorial care, based on the critically acclaimed The Missing Chapter – Black Chronicles archive research programmes she has led between 2014 – 2018 (publication forthcoming 2021/22).

The Landscape Instructors are Mariama Attah, Simon Roberts, Sophie Wright & David Axelbank

LEICA LAB // LANDSCAPE // AUGUST 2021: View this course 

Curator: Mariama Attah

Mariama Attah is a photography curator, writer and lecturer with a particular interest in overlooked visual histories and understanding how photography and visual culture can be used to amplify underrepresented voices. Mariama is curator of Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. She was previously Assistant Editor of Foam Magazine.

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Prior to this, she was Curator of Photoworks, where she was responsible for developing and curating programs and events including Brighton Photo Biennial and was also Commissioning and Managing Editor of the yearly magazine Photoworks Annual. Mariama is curating this year’s LOOK Biennial on the theme of climate change and environmentalism.

Photographer: Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts (b.1974) is one of the most acclaimed contemporary photographers working in the UK today. His practise is principally photography based, but also encompasses video, text and installation work, which together, interrogate notions of what landscape is and how it is depicted, utilised and commodified.

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He has exhibited widely and his photographs reside in major public and private collections, including the George Eastman House, Deutsche Börse Art Collection and V&A Museum. In 2010 he was commissioned as the official British Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee to produce a record of the General Election on behalf of the UK Parliamentary Art Collection; and in 2014 he represented Britain during the UK-Russia Year of Culture.He has been commissioned to make several large-scale public artworks and recognised with numerous awards including an Honorary Fellowship to the Royal Photographic Society, the Vic Odden Award and grants from Arts Council England and the John Kobal Foundation. He is the author of several critically acclaimed monographs including Motherland (Chris Boot, 2007), We English (Chris Boot, 2009) - voted as one of the best photography books of the past decade - Pierdom (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2013) and Merrie Albion (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2017), whilst his work has been profiled and published widely including in the New Yorker, Granta, National Geographic, ArtForum, Wallpaper, amongst others.

Learn. Grow. Create.