Noel Bowler’s Union Exhibition – A Review

Anne Marie Whelan

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Union Photo credit Anne Marie Whelan

Interior photography is a type of photography that I think is not visually engaging or interesting.  And, Noel Bower’s Union exhibition did little to dispel those feelings and thoughts, when I visited his exhibition of interior photography, in the Gallery of Photography, Dublin.

Union exhibition

Noel Bower’s Union exhibition opened on the 6th of April, 2017, in the Gallery of Photography.  Union is the galleries current exhibition and is there until the 14th of May, 2017 .  Union looks at meeting rooms, spaces and head offices of industrial unions and portrays union offices from 14 countries including Russia, America and Ireland.  Bowler invites the viewer to “embrace the sense of heavy and suspended conversation that emanates from these work spaces.” And, according to the Gallery of Photography, Bowler’s Union looks at ” the meeting rooms and back offices at the coalface of the ideological war between labour and capital that has shaped our lives since the industrial revolution”. Gallery of Photography, 2017:

Spacious – Photo credit: Anne Marie Whelan.

Historical Artefacts

Bowler’s Union was not visually appealing or interesting enough to inspire me to take up interior photography, anytime soon.  However, the exhibition’s historical artefacts section, if anything, piqued my curiosity in the historical aspect of the exhibition.  These artefacts included employee work records that belonged to some of the people who work the offices, etc., that Bowler photographed for this exhibition:

Historical Artefacts  –  Photo credit:  Anne Marie Whelan

Work spaces

At the very least, his photographs have captured the cold beauty of some of today’s work spaces .i.e. meeting rooms and union offices.  The photographs are well focused, have good definition and do not have overly bright or garish colours.  The Union’s series of interior spaces photographs, also have a good depth of field, sharpness and clarity to them:

Light and airy – Photo credit:  Anne Marie Whelan.
Cold and airy – Photo credit: Anne Marie Whelan.

Not Bowled Over

Overall, I was not “bowled” over by Bowler’s Union exhibition.  It left me feeling uninspired and disinterested in interior photography.  Also, Union pales in comparison to Donal Murphy’s inspirational and aesthetically pleasing series of interior photographs, which includes PayPal’s European offices in Dundalk; The Tasting rooms, Guinness Storehouse and MasterCard Dublin Office.  It is Murphy’s use of iridescent colours, sharp lines, clarity and a great depth of field, which makes his series of interior photographs engaging and an aesthetically pleasing series of interior photographs.

For information on interior photography go to 6 photography tips for shooting interiors like a Pro and for further information on Noel Bowler’s Union exhibition go to Noel Bowler’s Union and further information on Donal Murphy’s interior photography go to Donal Murphy’s interior spaces photography.

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Anne Marie Whelan