As a recently declared national monument, the Owl House is a work of outsider art created by Helen Martins between 1945 and 1976. Its concrete and glass art ensured the village of Nieu-Bethesda survived a future as a top tourist destination. Most of the Owl House sculptures were created collaboratively with local illiterate labourers. Their offspring have become a unique community of crafters who are continuing the tradition and selling concrete work outside the museum. Under the auspices of the Owl House Foundation, various initiatives are continuing to ensure the training, economic upliftment and trading conditions of the crafters are improved. This is to culminate in a traders’ market and public precinct.
Owl House, Nieu-Bethesda: Crafters Empowerment Programme
Architect: Leaf Architects
Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape