In February 2013, exactly a year previous to this project, I had my first encounter with Berlin. Caught off guard by the overwhelming weight of history, bleak landscape and looming grey atmosphere, Berlin had gripped me in a hold that I could not break away from. This irresistible pull demanded that my curiosity needed to be resolved.
Undeniably I had a connection to the contradictory nature of Berlin, a city with an unconventional past and an uncertain future. This goes without saying that Berlin is still struggling to gain a sense of identity 25 years after the fall of the wall. In February 2014, I returned to this intriguing city for a month-long stay in order to produce a body of work, made as a direct aesthetic response which would depict the emotional weight I had previously experienced.
I used the Mauerweg trail as my reference point, the scarred strip of land that encircles the city in which the Berlin wall once stood. This project is a result of walking this path that once symbolized the division of Europe. Through this somewhat nomadic journey, I started to uncover a different side of Berlin, a side of Berlin that was quiet and understated, one that I could relate to. Like a psychological mirror, I could see elements of my own personality rooted deep within the landscape.
The selection of images showcased in this project are a poetic document of contemporary Berlin as it attempts to shape its future. But they are also a portrait of myself. I tried to lose myself within this unfamiliar environment to gain clarity of Berlin and a better understanding of my work.
But you can’t get lost in Berlin; you always end up at a wall.
— Ross Williams