Gallery of Photography Ireland is delighted to present the Irish premiere of Enda Bowe’s award winning Love’s Fire Song. The exhibition features a sound installation specially created by Max Cooper.
Over the past 5 years Enda Bowe has worked with young people on either side of the peace walls in Northern Ireland. Taking the symbolic bonfires of July and August as his starting point, Bowe worked collaboratively with people from across the sectarian divide to create open-ended visual narratives.
Love’s Fire Song is concerned with storytelling and the search for light and beauty in the ordinary. Precise references to political context and geographical locations are underplayed to offer subtle new perspectives, revealing a quiet, contemplative portrait of youth culture. Often defined in opposition to each other by their religious beliefs, cultural background and inherited sense of place, the work highlights instead young peoples’ shared sense of ritual in gathering around a bonfire – which in itself echoes ancient traditions.
Bowe’s deeply empathetic portraits go beyond stereotypical representations to touch on shared human experiences of longing, vulnerability, joy and celebration. Where others might see mundane, everyday situations, Bowe finds beauty, hope and optimism. Love’s Fire Song looks beyond the often destructive influence of history to reflect on the commonalities that exist between seemingly disparate places and lives.