HELEN MARTINS’ OWL HOUSE

HELEN MARTIN'S 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.

RIP HELEN AND THANK YOU

3 Replies to “HELEN MARTINS’ OWL HOUSE”

  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.

  2. Anonymous says: Reply

    people like this are always very interesting

  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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