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Irish artist wins international prize for his psychedelic war photography

Kilkenny’s Richard Mosse was this evening announced as the winner of Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

mosse 2 The striking use of colour in Mosse's war photography. Source: Richard Mosse photgraphy

IRISH ARTIST RICHARD Mosse has won the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for his exhibition of films on war ravaged Congo.

The £30,000 prize was awarded to Kilkenny born Mosse whose The Enclave Exhibition was shown in a number of galleries worldwide including the La Biennale exhibition in Venice, the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.

Mosse used a Second World War type of military film which captures an invisible spectrum of infrared light and creates a psychedelic pink hue.

The military film was originally used to spot camouflage in war zones but Mosse’s use of it in photography creates a bizarre sense of fantasy in the realities of war.

The Enclave comprises six monumental double-sided screens installed in a large darkened chamber to create a physically immersive experience. 

Source: The Photographers' Gallery/Vimeo

The films were shot over the course of 2011 and 2012 as Mosse and his collaborators travelled in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infiltrating armed rebel groups in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence.

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Over 5.4 million people have died in the Congolese conflict since 1998 and Mosse’s filming includes encounters with rebels fighting under the command of those sought for trial by the International Criminal Court.

mosse Behind the scenes. Richard Mosse (right) with Trevor Tweeten (left), inside the enclave held by General Janvier's APCLS rebels, March 2011 Source: Robert Shamwami.

Read: 22 of the most unforgettable war photos you will ever see >

Read: Abandoned: Haunting snapshots of a life once lived in rural Ireland >

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Rónán Duffy

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