This is part of an ongoing series I have been working on of abandoned buildings with an intriguing history. Along with this series of the children's hospital, I have also been shooting an abandoned theme park called Spree World ,both buildings are located in Berlin.
My aim was to capture the strange and dark places that lie hidden just beyond the outside world. I like to capture this darkness as I believe there is beauty in the dark as well as the light. This has been a common theme of my recent works including these images.
Part of what inspires me as an artist, is not knowing exactly what's going on within any sort of art medium,be it a book,movie ,picture of painting. The wanting to know more, or even drawing your own conclusions. I find this really makes me think about what message I or another artist is trying to convey. Two of my favorite artists are not photographers,one is David Lynch (director) and Francis Bacon(painter). Both of them seem to delve into the darkness of the subconscious and let you draw your own conclusions and that is partly what I am aiming to convey in my own work. What each of us ultimitly "see or feel" about any image is, to some degree, subjective.
The abandoned Children's Hospital had an alluring and eerie quality to it,that I wanted to capture with film,as I felt the B&W would have a timeless ambience. Whilst the color could show there is still lucid colors of the graffiti as well as the murals that have been left on the walls from when the hospital was still in use.
There was four floors of graffiti,broken glass, all the toilet bowls were ripped out so they were unusable.There was also some evidence of a person or people living there as you will see in a few of the images.
The history of the hospital is quite fascinating Built in 1917 the building was used as a major hospital for the births of children during World War I by Prof Sigfrid Hammerschlag. But by 1943 he was forced into retirement because he was jewish ,and the place was taken over by the Nazi's.The structure was severely damaged in World War II, but was slowly rebuilt in the mid 1960's to late 1970's.
Wherein it had new facilities to care for newborns and premature babies, this was a major Berlin hospital for newborns, until a new larger complex opened up the road in 2005. The hospital was no longer used and along with two other local hospitals the building were closed down, leaving it abandoned.
This photography grant will help me continue the project in Berlin where I can go back and keep documenting all the the amazing abandoned buildings that are in Berlin, as my aim is to create a photo book of the best images from the work I have already done, as well as being able to work on documenting the abandoned Berlin that will soon be gone.