Delphine Ettinger is one of those people you realise you know before you’re formally introduced. The first time I met her, I realised we’d probably been at 80% of the same events for the past year. As Ashes57 I’d seen her deisgn work for club nights like Acetate and Dub War and Loefah’s Swamp81 label all over the internet, along with her strong, organic feeling club photographs that capture the colour and penned in atmosphere of a dance perfectly. There’s often a claustrophobia or a sense of so many people all existing in a shared space that she manages to translate effortlessly through her live photography, whether its through her close ups of flailing limbs and excited faces or her voyueristic shots of a sea of people all combined looking at the one figurehead performer, she always seems to capture the mood whether shooting in monochrome or colour.
As a person Delphine moved to Montreal in 2003, a large, looming city often famed for its artistic heritage and music community. It was there she spent long winter nights doing line drawings and vector graphics, working to create her own style which has since seen her design projects for seminal New York rap outfit, Wu Tang Clan and probably the UK’s best emcee ever, Jehst. Over the past year or so, its through her photography that her name has spread further; her heavily stylistic documentation of London’s bass orientated nightlife (nights like FWD>> + Rinse, DMZ, Deviation and The Boiler Room) has been published over a plethora of online publications, ear marking her as one of the most omnipresent club photographers we’ve got.
Having spent time with her when she’s working, it’s evident that not much of what she does is an accident. She spots something in the distance, a movement or a shadow created by a beam of light and she’s gone, politely excusing herself as she persues her shot. And just from the small selection of her amassed archive that she’s kindly shared with us today, photography is as obvious a passion as it is a clear and present talent. So to continue our inspiration series, we caught up with Ashes57 in between her work for the LAVA collective – where she’s hard at work curating mutiple shows for their gallery which is situated just off Carnaby Street in Central London – and she shared with us some of her favourite images and a little information on her inspirations and processes.