The Owlhouse

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The Owlhouse can be found in the small Karoo village of Nieu-Bethesda, in South Africa.

The house belonged to Helen Martins, a visionary artist, who turned the rooms of the house into a shimmering delight of mirrors and coloured walls of crushed glass.

Her back garden, ‘The Camel Yard’ is filled with different statues made of concrete and beer bottles. They all face ‘mecca’, a place that Martins found mystical inspiration in.

In her life, Martins was considered an outcast and branded a witch by some in her own village, so she never socialized and lived an isolated life.

With the onset of arthritis and blindness she committed suicide by drinking arsenic in her kitchen.

The village today prospers from her house, which has been turned into a museum in order to try and preserve her crumbling works of art.