Wednesday, April 4, 2018

HELEN MARTINS' OWL HOUSE





Do you ever feel that other people aren't interested, at all, in the same things you are?

I do.

Recently, for example, I have breathlessly reported to several friends something like the following:

"I am completely obsessed with this South African woman I just learned of, now dead, named Helen Martins who was an eccentric and a recluse and built a place over the course of several decades called Owl House! Covered every surface with colored ground glass, then added mirrors, zillions of candles, and a weird mummy-like sculpture with one cloven hoof that lay on the floor in the middle of everything She had had two abortions which haunted her. Had a series of black workmen who helped her and carried on a decades-long affair with a married man who would not leave his wife. When she was finished with the house, began a bizarre sculpture garden with cement camels, cats, temples, mythical figures. Made a sign out of wire--"This is My House"--that she hung on the fence, then in her 80s drank caustic soda--lye--and killed herself! Wonderful book by Sue Imrie Ross that I retrieved from interlibrary loan. Fascinating! Female psyche that did not quite become integrated"...

Now if someone told that to me, I would be like, "Oh excuse me I have to use the bathroom" and would be in there madly scrolling through my phone to get more info and at the soonest possible opportunity, would read/watch every single thing about such a compelling, bizarre, paradoxical, tragic, mystifying figure that I could get my hands on. 

As is true of much of what I breathlessly report, however, I have not been able to drum up much interest. 

That's okay! It is good to have our own little things that set us on fire.  


LIKE ME, HELEN LIKED GREEN. 


HELEN MARTINS (1897-1976)
AS A YOUNG WOMAN


AND WITH MUCH OF HER LIFE'S WORK
COMPLETED.
RIP HELEN AND THANK YOU. 

3 comments:

  1. that is so fascinating and yet troubling, such a brutal death and yet a house filled with colored glass. It must be amazing to walk through there.

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  2. people like this are always very interesting

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  3. Yes, I do. And I unfortunately I’ve found myself falling into the mainstream out of wanting of acceptance. Thanks for awakening me

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