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Nick Verhaeghe

Portals of Displacement

In photography, Verhaeghe often encounters subjects that have already been captured in countless ways, and he seeks to find alternative approaches to portray them. He is drawn to the idea of making the photographic material more physically tangible, creating a new perspective through which to view the subject. This has led him to experiment with analog photo development using unconventional, organic, and even medicinal materials such as plants and medications like paracetamol. These materials serve as unconventional photo developers, akin to the paint and brushes of a painter, not driven by ecological considerations, but rather the aesthetic value of his working process in his images. He aims to question photography as a medium and create small dimensional gateways that connect to a physically tangible object during the photo development process, exploring the connection with nature in his work to map the human psyche, memories, and emotions through a "light catalog."

Verhaeghe is now pushing the concept of physical tangibility and its connection to the human psyche by incorporating the primitive nature of transient materials into his work. This involves burning or carbonizing waste materials from his photo developers and applying them to the final finishing of an image, such as in a print. This process allows the physicality of the end result to come to the forefront, while also seeking the perfect finishing technique that creates a unique and non-reproducible outcome for each image. He aims to evoke the same sense of wonder that the early photographers experienced. Most of his techniques and processes are self-taught, driven by his own experimentation and exploration.

Recently, Verhaeghe has been focusing more on the deconstruction of his images. He has developed a unique finishing technique that involves etching an image onto an aluminum plate using household chemicals and filling the etched grooves with homemade inks created from his waste materials through carbonization. He is also experimenting with silver recovery from photographic materials to create metallic silver sculptures that symbolically reference the destructive nature of his current artistic process.

Nick Verhaeghe (1991) lives and works in Knokke, Belgium, where he has his own studio. He studied at the Luca School of Arts, NARAFI in Brussels, and participated in an exchange program at the Ecole Superieure des Arts de l'image LE 75 in Brussels. During this period, he worked as an intern for Jimmy Kets.

After graduating in 2016, he organized his first solo exhibition as an independent artist at Gallery Berka in Knokke. This led to four solo exhibitions and 30 group exhibitions, including:

International Photo Festival 'Unkown Masterpieces', 2018, Belgium;
Format festival, 2020, England & New Zealand;
Antwerp Photo Biennale 2021, Belgium;
Xe Biennale de Photographie Condroz, 2021, Belgium;
Photoempauta, 2022, Brazil;
Rotterdamphoto, 2022, Netherlands;
Cwart Gallery, 2022, Belgium;
Photographic Exploration Project, 2023, Berlin; ...

He has received five art book publications and numerous magazine and newspaper publications, including two front covers; as welI as various digital publications and seven art awards.

Recently, he completed a mentorship under the guidance of Anja Hellebaut at MentorMentor in Ghent. After successfully completing his research, he was selected for the masterclass under Mashid Mohadjarin, with the selection judged by Lisa Van Damme & Tom Callemin.

Nick Verhaeghe has recently achieved various successes, including his acceptance and completion as an artist­ in-residence at 'The Museum of Loss and Renewal' in Naples, Italy. Additionally, he is focusing more on guiding workshops around alternative photographic processes and currently sharing his knowledge and expertise as an instructor.

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