I’d like to explore why people are here in Berlin. What are they doing here, what’s attracted them, has it delivered, or disappointed? Everyone has a different story and I’d like to discover these people and present them to you. Each person will be asked to write something about their life here to accompany the images. Kind of like a caption that you get at art galleries to accompany the artworks.
I don’t want to make a list of stats and facts on what they’re doing here. Rather, I think I want to set up some clues. By shooting in their homes I think you can gain a lot of insight into a person’s inner world by looking at their most personal outer world – their homes. It’s quite appropriate for this city too because everyone lives in an apartment here. All that mystery, behind closed doors.
Introducing my first subject, Lily. After looking for the best light, I shot on my 50mm prime lens, very square, and slowly, with more thought in posing and expression than I have done in a very long time! The post production is square – I feel like working with the neutrality of square – and the look is quite filmic, gently toned and soft blacks.
I don’t know if it’s necessary to explain more detail than what has been provided. Like, do you want to know where she’s from, her age, more info, or are you given enough clues in the images and happy to be left wondering the rest? My next one will post in a couple of days, so as the story builds your feedback is very welcome! It too, is a solo female, so maybe that’s what it’s going to be about – women living their lives here.
‘This is not my home, I am reminded everyday – by the shape of the city, the smells, by the light, the language that I don’t understand, by the history.
Berlin is the place where my daughter is having her childhood – so it will always be special to us, in that it’s helped to shape her as a human being. I’m not sure if I’d ever advise anyone to do this – live nomadically with a small child in tow – but this is ours, this is us and Berlin had a big part to play – for the good and the bad.’
I like the three-up presentation.
It seems to build a nice mini-story.
What do you think?
One full body, environmental portrait.
One close up, square on with a strong gaze.
One by a window.
I tried the informality of using my iPhone with instagram, but the Canon seems to be winning the day.
Text-wise, do you want more information?
Lily is Lily Mae Martin, and Australian artist living in Berlin.
Below is one of her beautiful drawings and a recently finished painting.
She keeps a blog Berlin Domestic and her work blog.
Her website is here.
If you or someone you know would like to participate in this Berlin Portrait project, please be in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you Lily, for fitting me in to your very busy morning this week! I just love your work and appreciated the opportunity to peek into your world a little bit.