Berlin, that formerly divided city, with its dark past and its devastating effect on the world, has profoundly affected Hansen’s work. From the early 1980s, before the Wall came down, she has spent continuous work periods there, and has been inspired to record and document how a nation has rebuilt itself, not only physically but psychologically as well. They have come to terms with their dark history and the legacy of shame that it leaves its younger generation to carry.

Observation and experience there inspire her drawings and paintings and allow her to explore the human condition in the aftermath of war. In the works from that source, Berlin becomes an archetype, a metaphor for the human condition. It contains the worst of man’s inhumanity to man, but also the strands of compassion and reconciliation, the buoyancy of the human spirit. There is the human need to rebuild physically, emotionally and psychologically. There is the compulsion, also, to make amends to the world through monuments and memorials such as the book-burning site at Babelplatz, Liebeskind’s Jewish Museum and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (The Blocks).

Image: The Near Death of Hope

<em>City of Hope</em>
<em>Night Visit at the Blocks</em>
<em>Rest in Peace</em>
<em>Single Mother</em>
<em>Head and Tail</em>
<em>If My Memory Serves Me Well</em>
<em>Time, Speed and Place</em>
<em>Zellen, The Cell</em>
<em>Visitation at The Blocks, Berlin</em>. 2011, oil, 203x304cm.