Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ennè: Singer finds 'different side' to Luton in lockdown

Luton Image copyright Ennè
Image caption Music artist Ennè decided to photograph Luton after her upcoming gigs were cancelled due to coronavirus

A singer and musician who took up photography in lockdown has told how she used her pictures to show a "different side" to her hometown.

Ennè, who has worked with Earth, Wind & Fire and Lee "Scratch" Perry, used a classic film camera around Luton after her gigs were cancelled.

Her photos will be part of a socially distanced art exhibition in Germany.

"I would take walks and purposely get lost around the town to try and find things I hadn't seen before," she said.

"I wanted to show a different side to Luton while doing that.

"People wouldn't even recognise it as Luton."

Image copyright Ennè
Image caption Ennè decided to use a classic film camera instead of a digital one to take her photographs
Image copyright Ennè
Image caption Ennè said people viewing her photographs might not recognise them as Luton

Last year, Ennè - real name Nakisha Esnard - won the talent quest at Luton Mela, attended by more than 40,000 people.

But gigs planned for Luton and London this year were cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Although she has been able to perform and work from home, she turned her focus to photography.

Image copyright Ennè
Image caption Ennè felt the photos captured an "intimate moment that I was having personally, an introspective moment walking around my town"
Image copyright Ennè
Image caption The aim, Ennè said, was to document the socially distant life of Luton

The 33-year-old used a Russian Fed 2 Rangefinder camera, which was she said was more than 50 years old "and comes with its own character".

She said: "Working with film is a lot slower than working with digital so it forced me to slow down and obviously lockdown has also forced us all to slow down and reset our focus a little bit, so using film really made sense to me."

Image copyright Enné
Image caption Ennè lives in Luton and is a singer and musician
Image copyright Enne
Image caption The photos of Luton will now exhibited in Germany as an example of socially distanced art

At the start of lockdown the she responded to an appeal from the Arrival Room Gallery in Saarbrücken, Germany, for contributions to its social distancing arts (SODA) festival.

Her pictures of Luton will now feature in the fine art section and when restrictions are lifted she has been invited to exhibit the work in person. which she said would be "quite an experience".

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