Helen Martin – The Owl House – Digital Image

Helen Martin The Owl House Digital Image

Helen Martin – Digital Image

By Chris Page | Collection: The Owl House



About this piece

2018 – Nieu-Bethesda – South Africa

Reaching Out or Embracing?

Under a blistering sun I kelt down before this sculpture, not in reverence or out of heat exhaustion , but to compose and frame this figure within the simplicity of a clear blue South African sky.   It happens to be one of my favourite photos of all time, and the reason why is that it keeps asking me a question at I can’t answer; “Is she reaching out to embrace others or the heavens? or is she gesturing to push away or to stop something?”  It’s a paradox of two very different interpretations of something that is seemingly so simple.

The Owl House

If you was to take a long days drive from Cape Town into the Karoo Desert region of the Eastern Cape you may come across The Owl House; located in the small sleepy farming town of Nieu-Bethesda. The Owl House, now a museum, was once the home and workplace of an incredible woman, the recluse artist Helen Martin.

She lived here on her own up her suicide at the age of 78. She had dedicated her life to her Sculptural Art which she created by using Cement, Wire, Brocken & Crushed Glass: the only materials available to her. The strange and spiritual subject matters of her creations isolated her from the suspicious townsfolk, this was only heightened further by this white woman’s close friendship with a local coloured man, who assisted her with the manual labour of her work.


Digital Images:

For screen use only – 72 dpi – 1700 x 1197 pixels – without white boarder.

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Find out more about the Photographer: Chris Page

Also can be found at: www.openpage.studio

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