The House of Dreams is one of London’s most incredible spaces.
We all like to put our own stamp on where we live, but artist Stephen Wright has taken things to the next level.
He’s spent the last 20 years transforming the ground floor of his semi-detached home in south London into a miraculous-yet-moving temple of outsider art, but it’s only open to the public on a few days each year.
Every surface – and I mean literally every surface – has been adorned with bizarre objects, many of which have been donated by previous visitors. Doll’s heads, false teeth, bottle caps, ceramic fragments and more have all been attached to the walls, ceiling and floor. There is A LOT.
But the chaotic aesthetics also have an autobiographical quality. While some items represent a certain moment in Stephen’s life, there are also ‘memory boards’ placed throughout, documenting his life’s journey – in particular, the grief at losing his partner and parents during the early 2000s.
This remains Stephen’s actual house, but he opens it to the public every so often so we can have a nosey. Admission is £7 for students or £12 for adults, and advanced booking is essential. You’ll also get a tour from Stephen himself, who is a good chap.
Even the garden is full of weird and wonderful things. (Some of which are verging on terrifying.)
Location: 45 Melbourne Grove, East Dulwich, London SE22 8RG. Nearest station: East Dulwich. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: once a month, books up well in advance. Next available dates are August 29 and September 26 from 10am to 5pm.
Price: £12 – or £7 for students.
More information: visit Stephen’s website to book.
Also published on Medium.