Saskia Niehaus

I quickly felt at home in my studio in the so-called Stadthaus, the former town hall of the district. It became my refuge after long, often intensive walks exploring the area. There was a lot of space and a great panoramic view through the windows. I felt like more of an outsider in Lichtenberg than I did during my time in Rome last year, for example. This was very stimulating and a good basis for observing and drawing in a free, unhindered manner. The neighbourhood is very varied. There are neglected Plattenbau tower block developments and others that are have been fully refurbished and appear very lively. Between these, there are a lot of areas of greenery and disused wasteland sites, along with places to sit down of all shapes and sizes that were ideal for drawing. What I also noticed were the many sculptures, dogs, power masts, social facilities, the tree-shaped stands for displaying photos in public spaces…. the harness racing track, the Zentralfriedhof cemetery and the Tierpark zoo were expansive, relaxing and very special places for me. The speed of life of the residents of Lichtenberg appeared to me to be slower and more considered than in other parts of Berlin.


September, 2011