The Senses

The Centre for British Studies (Humboldt University Berlin) proudly presents “Britons in Berlin: An Exploration through the Senses”, a virtual interactive exhibition where visitors will discover Berlin and the art of its British visitors. Through our stations, online discussions and panels, participants will have the opportunity to gain a thorough insight into the works and experiences of these British artists and their link to Berlin, as well as the way in which they experienced the city through all their senses.

Britons in Berlin: An Exploration through the Senses


Berlin has long been known as a hub for artists looking for both inspiration and a place to call home, where they feel free to realise their creative potential. Over the years, the free, vibrant, and stimulating character of the city attracted creative minds from all over the world, including many from Britain. How did British artists experience the city? What influence did Berlin have on their art? How was Berlin represented in their works? To answer these questions, the exhibition looks at British artists’ experience in Berlin, as it was felt with all the senses. The overall time period covers the 1920s to the present day, with particular attention paid to the Weimar years, the Cold War, and Brexit.

The exhibition will be organised around the five senses. Five stations – Visual, Audiovisual, Audie, Touch, and Smell and Taste are set up to trace British artists’ experience in Berlin through different sensations. These stations introduce the audience to British visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, cabaret performers, writers, as well as to the art they have created in response to their experience in Berlin. In addition to this, the exhibition traces how innovations in technology have contributed to the British artistic creation in Berlin throughout the decades. A bonus station is dedicated to what we have chosen to call The 6th Sense, and explores literary works by three contemporary British writers living in Berlin.