Seven huge sections of the Berlin Wall have been installed in a Purbeck forest as a moving tribute to the power of people to overcome oppression on the greatest scale.
The forbidding piece of history was unveiled at Carey’s Secret Garden near Wareham on Wednesday 9th November 2022, the 33rd anniversary of the start of the tearing down of the wall between East and West Germany which had separated the nation since 1961.
Original street art and graffiti is featured on the sections of the Berlin Wall near Wareham
Most original and moving art in the UK
Owner of Carey’s Secret Garden is Simon Constantine whose parents co-founded Lush. He’s also been involved in several high profile campaigns against animal cruelty, the use of plastics – and helping Syrian refugees to escape war zones.
A unique opportunity to acquire four metre tall sections of the Berlin Wall decorated with original street art and graffiti was too tempting to turn down and has now become one of Dorset’s most original and moving art exhibits.
An artist friend who had brought the sections back from Berlin after the fallen wall became an international symbol of hope originally wanted to set up an art installation himself, but instead left them in storage for more than 25 years.
When his friend retired, Simon was asked if he wanted to take them himself and agreed without realising quite how big and heavy they were.
Simon Constantine, owner of Carey’s Secret Garden, at the opening of his Berlin Wall experience
Having the Berlin Wall on your land isn’t as weird as it sounds
Simon, who had previously worked with Suttle Stone Quarries in Swanage to create a modern day stone circle at Holton Heath, near Sandford, said:
“When you think that Holton Lee stone circle was created in 2012 and has been there ever since, perhaps having the Berlin Wall on your land isn’t quite as weird as it sounds.
“The secret garden that we discovered here at Carey behind its ivy covered wall has an embracing atmosphere and a healing quality – it holds in the sunshine, but is open on the south side so that early mists and frosts can flow out and not damage the plants.
“The Berlin Wall was a symbol of oppression, keeping people and political ideologies apart. For some people the walls became a prison, one that many tried to escape and paid for with their lives.”
An imposing structure to be discovered in the forest at Carey
A sensitive and important piece of history
“Walls are still being built to keep people apart – when the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989 there were only 12 border walls around the world and now there are at least 72.
“We now have seven sections of the Berlin Wall on display and encourage visitors to walk through this space and take a moment to appreciate the tragedy of the walls and also the power of people in how they responded to it.
“We felt we had a unique opportunity at Carey to connect people to this sensitive and important piece of history and at the same time draw a parallel with our historic walled garden which is a sanctuary for people and nature alike.”
Creative night time lighting brings out a hidden side of the massive structures
800 miles of new border wall in Europe since 2015
Visitors to Carey’s Secret Garden, which welcomes a limited number of pre-booked visitors on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays each week, will now be able to view the Berlin Wall exhibit from Thursday 17th November 2022.
Tickets for the wall installation will be £2.50 per person and all funds raised from ticket sales will be donated to charities who support communities which are kept apart by war and walls.
The seven sections of wall have been installed in a wild woodland setting on the Carey Estate in Wareham. They each measure four metres in height, and are adorned with original street art and graffiti from the time the wall divided East and West Berlin.
But walls continue to be built around the world – since 2015, not only has Donald Trump’s infamous Wall of Mexico been set up, but 800 miles of border walls have been added in Europe, mostly to stop the movement of migrants and those seeking asylum.
Has a sign of repression now become a symbol of hope for the future?
“Can these walls allow us to connect with each other?”
“In the age of division, with so many people requiring you to be either in or out, what if there was another way? What, if instead of deciding between building walls or building bridges, there was a way that both could be ok?
“Can people find space to grow, to cultivate their inner world to be strong enough for the wider world? Can we connect to the best aspects of our past but relinquish the ugly foundations some of those ideals were built on?
“Can we address the present ecological and social crises and, through a sense of belonging, build healthy futures together? Can these walls that have been built actually allow us to grow, to connect with one another?”
A natural setting for a most unnatural piece of architecture