I was born in East Berlin, growing up in the 1960s in a block of flats behind The Berlin Wall, where I was a self-taught photographer. Later, having qualified and worked as a chemistry and biology teacher, I devoted all my spare time to photography. My improvised black and white darkroom was a refuge to me, a magical place, a timeless world. The language of my photography was grainy black and white street photography taken on my travels through Eastern Europe.
With the fall of The Wall in November 1989, my world got bigger.
In 1992 I received a grant for 6 months to teach German in a school in London and to learn English. I felt overwhelmed by the change and unlimited opportunities. I resigned from my teaching post in Berlin to stay longer in London.
While completing a BA in Photography at the University of Westminster in the mid-90s my approach to photography changed radically: instead of capturing images, I began to create them.
Experimenting with combining images using colour and black and white negatives, I transformed familiar objects into photographs of magical dreams.
For my degree I created a series of self-portraits through darkroom manipulation reflecting on the impact of growing up directly opposite The Berlin Wall.
After college I worked as a freelance photographer and became involved in a variety of creative and collaborative projects.
In 2003 we moved away from London to live on a canal in Surrey. Over the next years I photographed my surroundings and their metamorphosis as they reflected in water.
Most of my photographs from 2013 to 2016 were taken on solitary walks. Restricting myself to the same route feels more like escaping into a thinking space. It seems this process acts as a catalyst for triggering memory’s connected to my life in former East Germany. Writing these down was the beginning of keeping notebooks. Here I collect thoughts about the past, my current photographs, poetry and artists.
Since 2017 I am using notebooks, photographs, documents; and government statistics as starting point for reflecting on my experiences within society. I create images by obscuring the content, reducing them to fundamental shapes and forms until there are only traces of the original remaining.