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‘Through the Loupe’: photography exhibition

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Emerging Newcastle artists James Rhodes and Aidan Gageler are hoping to redefine photography with their new exhibition, ‘Through the Loupe’.

The pair say their two-day exhibition, to be held across the June long weekend, is an exploration of photography’s ability to generate an image, not just reflect one. 

Hosted by Blackstone Gallery, ‘Through the Loupe’ will blur the lines between painting, printmaking and photography.

Rhodes with his lens-based practice and Gageler who employs camera-less techniques are unified in their traditional approaches to contemporary life. 

“Contemporary ways of viewing photographs prompt us to ‘speed read’ images and consume them at an ever-increasing pace,” the pair said.

“We have come to expect flow; rarely seeing the same image twice or for more than a few seconds. This has ultimately changed the photographic form and our relationship with it.” 

Through the Loupe’ is a nod to the days when photography had a significant overlap with printmaking. 

A loupe is a small magnifying device used to enlarge details of a print for critical analysis.

The exhibition brings together two contemporary artists who apply historic photographic techniques to create their work. 

Aidan Gageler

Rhodes studied photography throughout his Undergraduate career at University of Newcastle’s School of Creative Industries and has exhibited his works across Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle. 

An artist and academic based in Newcastle, his work involves collecting photographs and altering them through various techniques in the darkroom. 

Gageler is a fine art graduate from the University of the Arts London who has exhibited in galleries of regional NSW, London and Brighton in the UK. 

His graduate project, ‘Life of a Bee’ boils the silver gelatin printing process down to the use of photographic chemicals and photographic paper. 

Instead of printing a negative onto paper as is the traditional method of photography, the images Gageler creates are precipitates telling a story of the paper’s life. 

Through The Loupe will launch at Blackstone Gallery, Friday 11 June from 6 to 8pm and feature at the Hunter Street site until Sunday 13 June 4pm.

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