July 12, 2009

Stephen Wright, The house of dreams museum

picture (apr 2008) courtesy of StylistBrighton (Jane), Flickr

The mosaic creation pictured above and below, is located in the front garden of a house in East Dulwich, a suburb of London, United Kingdom.

 picture courtesy of Ingrid Beazley (Dulwich On View)

Life and works

Stephen Wright (1954), a stationary and textile designer, gave his life in the late 1990's quite another direction.

He had watched Yarvis Cocker's tv series Journeys into the outside (1999) and became quite interested in the world of outsider art, how outsider artists give expression to their feelings and succeed in creating wonderful constructions, often just by using all kinds of ordinary and discarded materials.

picture from Wright's website

In the 1990's Wright paid a number of visits to France and he probably was impressed by the work of Bodan Litnianski, whom he has met personally.The colorful column decorated with cups and plates, pictured below, reminds of Litnianski's decorated columns, although Wright unmistakable gave it his own twist.

this picture, and the next two 
courtesy of Stephen Wright

In 1999 Wright decided to transform his house into a museum of dreams.

Since he started this project the ground floor and the garden of the house gradually have been transformed into a very colorful art environment, made up of large scale mosaics, constructions of paper mache and cement, compositions of found objects, decorated dolls, etc.

One will note referrals to the folk art of Mexico, South America and Asia. Although death is a recurrent theme in Stephen Wright's art, the emanation of the site in general is bright and colorful.

The work of french outsider artists such as Picassiette, Vasseur and Litnianski originally may have been a source of inspiration, currently Stephen Wright's art environment has a very personal character, which is also reflected in a number of personal statements written down on the walls. The house of dreams museum is his own world.

The Museum has been bequeathed to the UK's National Trust. an organisation in the field of heritage protection that will take care of the site when its creator is no longer with us.

* in 2003 and 2004 expositions in the Halle Saint Pierre in Paris.
* in september and november 2009 an exposition in Milagros, a London firm selling all kinds of (handmade) Mexican products

His Excellency The Angel Machoo-Choo
(from the invitation to the july 2010 expo)

* in October 2010 group exposition Flashier and Trashier, St Pancras Crypt, London

Documentation/more pictures
* Stephen Wright's website
* An informative and well illustrated article by Sandra Lawrence in the Londonist (march 2016)
* Kate Davey, "Stephen Wright's House of Dreams" in: Raw Vision nr 86 (spring 2015)
* Penny Blood's Black Book, January 29, 2013 (another look at Wright's interior)
* In Outsider environments Europe Texts (OEE texts) the introduction to the july 2010 exposition, as published on the Facebook page of the Last Tuesday Society.
* Website Majestic Disorder, interview May 31, 2013, with pictures and video (5'01", Vimeo)

* Video House of Dreams Online by Chris Howse (2'40", april 2019, You Tube)

first published july 2009, last revised  may 2019

Stephen Wright
House of dreams museum
45 Melbourne Grove
East Dulwich, London, United Kingdom
can be visited on appointment or during open days (see artist's website)

1 comment:

  1. Hello Henk, ik ben ook n grote fan van outsider art en wil al jaren heel graag eens naar the House of Dreams. Geweldig!!! Leuk blog, trouwens. Hartelijke groet, Anja