Through the Lens Collective is a collaborative educational and developmental photographic space created by South African visual artists and educators who share a commitment to, and appreciation of, the photographic medium on the African continent. Through photographic training the collective aims to develop creativity, critical thinking and professional practice. Photographic practice is undergoing rapid change. What is of paramount importance is personal vision and voice. Through an educational workspace, the collective aims to assist visual artists/photographers in refining their photographic practice, expanding their visual grammar and developing their narrative skills. In addition, what is of importance is the creation of sustainable structures that support contemporary photographic practice. Our courses are aimed at anyone who is passionate about the medium of photography and wishes to use the camera as an expressive tool.
Who are we?
Michelle Loukidis received her photographic training at TUT in Tshwane. She worked as a commercial photographer for over 10 years. However, her keen interests in photographic development led her to the Market Photo Workshop, in Newtown, where she has trained and mentored young photographers for over 20 years. Many students have then gone on to receive important grants and mentorships through her guidance. Through this process she has also helped train photographers from other African countries, running workshops in Sudan, Kinshasa and Cape Verde. A fine artist herself, she has exhibited her photographs in solo and group exhibitions. Michelle prefers working in film using medium format cameras, where she feels a certain amount of the magic of photography is still retained. She works and lives in Johannesburg.
Portrait by Flávio Cardoso
Michelle Harris (b.1983) is a visual artist and educator, based in Johannesburg.
Michelle graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 2005 with a Fine Arts degree (cum laude) and a teacher training certificate in arts, culture and design. As a visual artist, she has participated in a number of exhibitions and public art projects. Michelle was a senior facilitator in Visual Culture and Literacy at the Market Photo Workshop for twelve years. With experience in the fields of visual arts, photography education, artist consultation & mentorship, curatorial practice, and arts writing, her interest in photography as a medium of self- expression continues to fuel her passion for arts education as a dynamic tool for social development.
Cover image by Anna Sango