A GLIMPSE BEHIND THE HEDGE — DISCOVER BERLIN’S ALLOTMENT GARDENS WITH PAINTING WORKSHOPS BY ELENA AND ELENIA
You’ve no doubt peeked through the fences of Berlin’s garden houses. The “Schrebergarten” allotments often express the personality and gardening skills of their owners: a freshly painted red cabin, spinning trinkets in the garden, homemade sculptures or random tulips blooming across the whole space. To delve deeper into these spaces (and flex your creative muscles while doing it!) urbanist and landscape designer Elena Ferrari has teamed up with illustrator Elenia Beretta for a workshop series called Drawing In-Between Gardens. Elena’s work is interested in the interconnection between humans and nature in cities, which she addresses through different methodological approaches in her research as an urbanist, especially focusing on hybrid urban landscapes in Berlin. Elenia is a freelance illustrator and co-founder of Drawing Nights Berlin, a monthly drawing event where creatives play and practice.
The pair started the series to combine their skills and use drawing and learning as a means of cultural and creative exchange. It gives Berliners the chance to explore garden pathways and even meet some of the gardeners behind these allotments. There are three workshops as part of the series. In May, a group headed to the Potsdamer Güterbahnhof allotment to observe where wild and tended nature meet, creating sketches of their findings. We joined that first workshop, which had a casual, familial atmosphere allowing people to meet and share their creations in a welcoming atmosphere. On 17.06, the workshop will have attendees stroll through Kolonie am Flughafen allotment and choose natural elements to make their own brushes, such as leaves and branches, and then paint with water-based inks with the help of Eleina’s skillful eye. The last workshop will focus on anthropic and natural aspects that characterize the Harztal-Wilde Rose allotment, meeting the gardeners and taking visual notes about this space that once sat along the Berlin Wall. Whichever workshop you pick, you’ll leave with a little more knowledge and your own unique artistic interpretations of these iconic gardens.
Text & Photos: Savannah van der Niet
Workshop 2: Stroll & Harvest, Handmade brushes with natural elements
Allotment Kolonie am Flughafen, Golßener Str.8, 10965 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map
Workshop 3: Gardens and Gardeners, Sketching across gardens
Allotment Harztal-Wilde Rose, Harzer Str.79, 12435 Berlin–Neukölln; map
Register by emailing.