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The wall

An exhibition of paintings and drawings

The Studio, Redfern
November, 2009

It has been 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this exhibition, I remember the Wall and its impact on history.

Once a 156 km stretch of two continuous walls, with a heavily guarded “Death Strip” running between, the Wall turned West Berlin into an island in the midst of East Germany. To the East German authorities, the Wall was the Antifaschistischer Schutzwall (anti-fascist protective rampart). To the rest of the world, it was the Berlin Wall — one of the strangest and most obvious symbols of the former “Iron Curtain”. Only three short sections of the wall still exist.

In a series of meticulously executed paintings and drawings, I excavate the realities of a construction built through paranoia and fear. My paintings and drawings are based on photographs taken by the Border Guards who patrolled the Wall and who shot those trying to cross it.

“Last year in Berlin, I met two women (mother and daughter) on the train. I had just been to visit a remaining 1.6 km stretch of the Berlin Wall. They both remembered the Wall going up and the immediate division it created for their city. They were from the East. What struck me most during our brief conversation was their recollection that they never expected the Wall to come down. But it did come down. 20 years ago, on 9 November 1989. These works are about history and about remembering the traumatic symbols of history.”

View a review of The Wall from the German language newspaper “Die Woche” [3.88MB pdf]