DIY punk artist Sue Webster, takes us on a tour of her ‘mole man house’
DIY punk artist Sue Webster, takes us on a tour of her ‘mole man house’ – the former home of a notorious east London tunneller. Directed by Emile Rafael for the NOWNESS In Residence series.
In the 1960s William ‘mole man’ Lyttle began excavating the foundations of his house to build a wine cellar, but failed to stop there. Instead, he spent the next forty years digging a complex labyrinth of tunnels up to twenty meters long, leading from his house to the surrounding neighbourhood.
Sue Webster purchased the property at auction in 2014 and enlisted the help of renowned architect David Adjaye to convert the dilapidated warren into a studio home. To preserve the authenticity and eccentric history of the building, Webster chose to integrate Lyttle’s haphazard alterations into the new design plans.
“What’s fascinating is that it’s almost like a piece of [mine and Tim Noble’s] work,” says the artist, who rose to prominence in the mid-nineties with her partner for their signature DIY approach of aggregating discarded objects and turning debris into art. “It’s a piece of trash we will recycle into something that will become a piece of history.”