We all have certain qualms about dark, gloomy and desolate places, but German photographer Kilian Schönberger does what many of us wouldn’t dare to do – he actively searches out nightmarish real-life settings that capture the essence of the legendary Grimm bother’s dark, twisted fairy-tales.
In his series of images entitled “Brother’s Grimm’s Wanderings” Schönberger travels throughout Central Europe in the search for the region’s most mystifying places that have a real integral sense of foreboding and worry.
Schönberger inspiration, Grimms’ Fairy Tales written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, is a composition of numerous dark and twisted children’s fairy tales,(including the famous Hansel and Gretel) which are intended to evoke a true sense of being frightened. The collection was so successful at scaring it’s readership that the stories were initially deeming unsuitable for children. Clearly, Schönberger has found a fitting influence for his dark photography.
On his website, Schönberger writes: “I think there is a deep longing for tranquil naturalness among people in our technology-driven environment…
“… Therefore I don’t want to show just portrayals of natural scenes – I want to create visually accessible places where the visitor can virtually put his mind at rest and make up his own stories.”
Clearly, although Schönberger’s use of digital equipment is evident, he recognises that in this non-stop modern age, to divorce yourself from it and get back to the innateness of nature is a vital experience. He writes “Possibly this is the real benefit of my work: Resting places for the eyes in an [sic] visually overstimulated world”
Schönberger’s impeccable creative outlook and vision for a true artistic representation has not been limited by an affliction he was born with. Rather he claims that with being colour-blind: “I recognized that I could turn this so-called disadvantage into a strength, too and develop my own unique photographic view.”
The scenes photographed are nothing short of eerie and wouldn’t look out of place in your nightmares. But that doesn’t take anything away from their beauty and their mystique. Simply put, they are powerful pieces on their own, but coupled with an understanding of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, these places strike a very specific and imaginative chord.