At Mirrored River was inspired by the Gaelic word Teannalach (pron. “chann-ah-lack”) which means ‘awareness’. In particular, it is awareness of that which is intangible and hushed; of being aware of the quietness and presence of people, places and nature. With this in mind, Bowe sought to capture the teannalach of stories and dreams within a singular town.
The project is entirely made in an ordinary post-industrial town. For me, my personal challenge was to find the light and the beauty in the ordinary, the hope and the optimism.
As the project unfolded, it became less about the location of the project and more about mapping the feelings contained within the town. It is about the awareness of who we are, the questions we ask and the dreams we project.
Although the project is set in one town, it is not a literal documentation about the town. Bowe wishes the work to be seen as a universal collective palette of feelings and emotions, a European collection of contemporary photography for all nationalities to empathise with.
My intention was to make an unrecognisable geographical picture of a town which didn’t have monumental recognisable iconic images, or if they were there, to avoid the obvious. I wanted to look at the ordinary every day places we inhabit and our ordinary daily lives because for me, the ordinary is where all the of the universal beauty, magic and possibilities lye. As the late influential writer John McGahern said, “the ordinary is the most precious thing in life”
Enda Bowe’s work is concerned with storytelling and the search for light and beauty in the ordinary. He presents his work through exhibition and the publication of photographic monographs.
Influences in his work include writer John McGahern, poet John Glenday, and directors Lynne Ramsey, Ken Loach and Lenny Abrahamson.
To date Bowe’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum , London, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, the National Portrait Gallery, London, Fotohof, Salzburg, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, and The Visual Centre Of Contemporary Art, Ireland.
His recent collection of work ‘At Mirrored River’ received the international Solas Photography Award 2015 and has been nominated for the Prix Pictet Award 2016 and the Deutsche Borse Foundation Photography Prize 2016.
Bowe’s first monograph ‘Kilburn Cherry’ published by J&J Books received the Birgit Skiold Artist Award 2014, Whitechapel Gallery London.
In self-publishing the photobook ‘At Mirrored River’ the artist was kindly supported by the Victoria & Albert Museum, Oscar nominated directors Ken Loach and Lenny Abrahamson, and writer Colm Toibín. This book coincided with the exhibition of ‘At Mirrored River’ at The Visual Centre of Contemporary Art, Ireland, which ran from 2nd July to 16th October 2016. His third monograph ‘Birds to the Air’ will be published by Plum Plum Books in spring 2017.
Enda is from Ireland and lives and works in London.