Tesla Magic

Yes, you’re right, it is disgraceful to have lived here for well over a year before ever venturing into the Sarjeant Gallery. We finally did yesterday.


We enjoyed all the exhibits but I was particularly taken with the exhibition of photographs from the Tesla Studios. The Sarjeant is currently displaying a selection of photographs from Mark Lampe’s years at the studio, spanning the 1930s to 1955. They show a variety of scenes and occasions, portraits, weddings, local events and even images commissioned by insurance companies.


I found myself enjoying the photographs on a couple of levels. I eagerly scanned them to find places I recognize or perhaps catch a glimpse of my grandparents all those years ago. But I also enjoyed the prints themselves. There is something not just appealing but compelling about them. Perhaps it’s the depth of contrast and the tonal range, or the absence of grain or noise. I’m not quite sure what to put it down to – not being a technician – but I thoroughly enjoyed them. So much, in fact, that I plan to go back to examine them again.


They say a picture paints a thousand words, which must be why I cannot adequately describe what I saw. The only possible solution is for you to get along to see for yourself. The Tesla Studios – the Mark Lampe Years exhibition runs until July 17th. Entry is free but donations are welcome.

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