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NICK ENSING'S PHOTOGRAPHY AT FABRIC, LONDON

Top nightlife photographer Nick Ensing has been shooting in Fabric for the past decade. With the London superclub’s bid to stay open being successful, we celebrate with an ‘online exhibition’ featuring some choice moments from his archive. Here’s a bit of background from the man himself.

BOP: Do you think Fabric should be kept open? Or do you believe clubs have their moment in time, and good things come to an end?
Nick Ensing: “Fabric should definitely keep going. It has a first rate music policy, and is the most professionally run club I’ve worked in or been to, here or abroad – and the irony there is that Fabric were wrongly accused of not fulfilling their responsibilities. 
Generally there are some good events still going in London, but the best tend to be in Illegal venues, or even outside. People have been complaining that venues are closing down, and there are pressures, but there are tons more venues than when I was first going out in the late eighties and early nineties! I think there is a bit of a problem with house and techno music though; it doesn’t seem to be evolving, and is stuck in a rut.”

When did you start taking photos in clubs professionally?
“2007. I had some spare cash – after a divorce! – and spent it all on professional Canon gear. Originally I was doing things for fun for free; places like secretsundaze, Kubicle, T-Bar and Fabric Retox. Within about a year I was doing paid stuff for places like The Ministry of Sound.”

How do you feel that your imagery stands out amongst most club photography?
“I think I have five or six different styles and techniques, but I my black and white flash photos [that you see here] are fairly singular in style.”

How does capturing an image of a clubber differ from portrait photography in general? 
“I tend to think that some of my best portrait work is done in clubs, whether of DJs or dancers. Even the photos you take when people ask – or demand! – to have their photo taken, and then pose for the photo smiling or pouting, can be artistically quite interesting. Club venues can be good as they have multiple lights and complex interiors, which is much more interesting than a studio.”

Richie Hawtin, August 2014

  Phuture, September 2014

Phuture, September 2014

  Apollonia and Jovonn, December 2014

Apollonia and Jovonn, December 2014

  Unnamed clubber at Superfreq, January 2012

Unnamed clubber at Superfreq, January 2012

  Jamie Jones and Craig Richards, 2015

Jamie Jones and Craig Richards, 2015

  Mr C at Superfreq, January 2012

Mr C at Superfreq, January 2012

  Carl Craig and Cassy, February 2009

Carl Craig and Cassy, February 2009

  Ricardo Villalobos, March 2009

Ricardo Villalobos, March 2009

Issue OneSteve Beale