Daniela Fleckenstein has one of our artists’ studios up on the first floor. She works regularly as a supporting artist for TV, Film & Theatre, shaping her understanding as a photographer. Daniela shares her experience as a photographer in workshops and tutorials facilitated at the Mansion.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m from Germany and in the 90s, with an ambition to pursue the arts, I relocated to London and found myself studying Art & Design at Lewisham College. It was there I was first introduced to the magic of the photographic dark room. I never looked back, or returned to Germany. I eventually (after time at Chelsea Art School) completed a degree in Photography at the University of Westminster in 2006.
Tell us about being a artist in residence here
I’ve been a resident in the Mansion for well over a year now, and I can’t sing its praises enough for the positive impact on my practice, as well as having seen the changes here over the past year close up.
The very room my studio space inhabits used to be the Dressing Room in the Mansion’s heyday and it lends itself brilliantly to its reformulated purpose, not so far from its original function.
My little secluded workspace consists of a big desk space, perfectly formed to make the long hours of editing possible, and also offers a thinking spot. The adjacent studio space is used for portraiture headshot sessions, but the north facing daylight and tranquil setting also makes it a good meeting space to discuss projects.
For bigger events here, my space transforms into a shop for prints, greeting cards and workshop sessions, alongside meaningful discussion and feedback. Come and see us on one of these open days!
As I’m a local, I’ve walked this park for well over 14 years; most of it with my dog and have often daydreamt of using this space for creative endeavours – the park undoubtedly inspires or puts you in the frame of mind to create. That that has become a reality for me is sometimes still beyond my comprehension.
How can visitors work with you?
I’d gladly invite anyone to attend a workshop with me to anchor your understanding of photography in old school methods and give you creative control over your image making. The sessions are structured as an hour talk in the studio and an hour practice, divided into 3 sections: ‘before we look’, ‘what we see’ and ‘after the click’.
So whatever may bring you to the Mansion, don’t be shy; get an appointment to visit us on the second floor for Photosurgery. Or make a booking for a portraiture session for yourself or your pooch: you will be surprised what good sitters dogs can become.
How do you use the Mansion outside of work?
After a year at the Mansion, I learned the community here furthers our ideas and sense of significance. I also take yoga classes at Studio Kooks to help deal with a pressuring workload of self-employment and freelancing. And I sure make use of the café and tranquil views and walks!
After long days working in production on film sets, as supporting artist or wardrobe mistress, it is a blessing to come back to the Mansion. Here I realise my own ideas and encourage my clients.