The Camalyard behind the Owl House in Nieu-Bethesda These cement statues were made by Helen Martins & Koos Malgas. The museum is open 7 days a week & a must visit for all. For more information on Nieu-Bethesda - please visit http://www.camdeboocottages.co.za/index.php/nieu-bethesda
One of the Bedrooms in the Owl House in Nieu-Bethesda Helen Martins decorated the interior of her house by grounding glass & glueing it to the walls & haning magnificent mirrors throughout the house. The museum is open 7 days a week & a must visit for all. For more information on Nieu-Bethesda - please visit http://www.camdeboocottages.co.za/index.php/nieu-bethesda
The Owl House is a museum in Nieu-Bethesda, South Africa. The house itself was transformed by Helen Martins. She began an obsessive project around 1945 to decorate her home and garden. Martins used cement, glass and wire to decorate the interior of her home and later build sculptures in her garden. Almost all the walls of the interior of the house were covered in decorative and colourful crushed glass. In 1964, Koos Malgas helped her build the sculptures in her garden.
Nieu-Bethesta is home to the Owl House where Helen Martin lived. She was regarded as an eccentric old woman and lived as a recluse, devoting her life to making hundreds of figures and statues from cement and glass. These are on display behind the Owl House in the area known as the Camel Yard. Her artistic hand had touched every space of her house. The walls, ceilings and even the doors were decorated by finely ground glass of various colours.
In an attempt to banish the darkness from her life, Helen Martins transformed her house into a kaleidoscope of rich blues, reds and greens, among other vibrant colours. She covered her walls with crushed glass and every window is tinted. The result is the enigmatic Owl House in Nieu-Bethesda. Photo: K van der Wielen
Owl House, Nieu-Bethesda, South Africa - The Owl House was owned by a woman named Helen Martins who was obsessed with light. She started making sculptures and other objects from cement, glass and wire that reflected rainbow colours. She made eerie animals that spilled out of her house and into the yard, but she particularly loved owls, which she associated with intuition and wisdom.
Beautiful Windows to be found in the Owl House in Nieu-Bethesda In the back garden there are numerous cement statues that were made by Helen Martins & Koos Malgas. The museum is open 7 days a week & a must visit for all. For more information on Nieu-Bethesda - please visit http://www.camdeboocottages.co.za/index.php/nieu-bethesda
“The Owl House is a national monument in Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Her work was a source of suspicion and derision within the village and during her time, Helen Martins received very little support or enthusiasm about her work. Her lifelong exposure to the fine crushed glass she used to decorate her walls and ceilings caused her eyesight to start failing in 1976. She committed suicide on August 8, 1976 by ingesting caustic soda, aged 78.”