The House That Dali Built

When I was in Cadaques along the Costa Brava in Spain, I was privileged enough to spend the day exploring and taking in Salvador Dali’s beachside estate that he designed and created over the course of his lifetime.

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A outside of the window of Dali’s summer sitting room

Treading slowly in awe with my camera, I tried to take pictures of how I felt. Dali has always been important to me. As a young artist I struggled to understand myself, and I saw in Dali’s surrealism an entire landscape that begged for even more attention than my own self absorbtion – it gave me something I could get lost in.

An untouched original in Dali's art studio
An untouched original in Dali’s art studio

I was completely enchanted by the way Dali lived his life. The room where Dali’s slept took into consideration the position of the rising sun – a cosmic alarm clock that allowed just enough light to come cascading through and wake him gently from his dreams.

A shot of a large piece of structural art in Dali's olive groove
A shot of a large piece of structural art in Dali’s olive groove

Dali considered and became apart of everything he created. To him, his house was itself a piece of art much like what he painted. It was interesting to see a house built of function and imagination. I think of the house viewings I have gone to as a university student and the division of an ordinary mind and one rippled with genius becomes evidently clear.

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A hallway that stares back at you

I wonder what my house will be like when I finally find a place to settle in this world? Dali seemed to understand how he wanted to feel in each room and how he wanted each room to behave. I can only just begin to understand how it would have felt to wake up in an abode nestled in a pristine bay along the Mediterranean, to walk slowly through my own olive grove, and to gain inspiration from the unique and special beauty of my landscape.

The swimming pool
The swimming pool

It was hard for me to imagine him actually living here. Walking up through the streets of Cadaques and to the museum I could scarcely believe where I was going. I remember wondering if anyone else around me felt the same way, or if this was just a simple and interesting tourist activity to them. It was very special to me and it felt almost as if I had stepped down into a different world completely.

Statue on the rooftop
Statue on the rooftop

Visiting the museum and wandering around the quarters I was brought back into a state of childhood amazement where everything is big, everything is grand, and even the smallest detail commands your greatest attention. Those are the types of feelings I like to experience when I travel – to see and feel things that are bigger than myself.

A beautiful door placed in the stone
A beautiful door placed in the stone

During my time in Spain I also got to visit Dali’s Theatre Museum in Figures. This museum was also quite fascinating as well. Designed by Dali itself the entire establishment was a montage to Dali’s genius and creativity. With hundreds of originals stacked against the walls of each room, and making a maze of the layout, the exhibition showcased all of the different styles of Dali’s work.

Another original from Dali's art studio - the most important room in his house
Another original from Dali’s art studio – the most important room in his house

I think we should all be less afraid to be genius and to stand out in whatever artwork we decide to employ in our lives. Sometimes a decent into madness can bring out a dormant creativity laying deep inside the depths of us, and that maybe outside of our awareness. Dali has always inspired me to bring out the creation from the parts of myself that think without bound, and outside of what I have been told.

A structural piece in the olive groove
A structural piece in the olive groove

What I will take from the house that Dali built is how imaginative and personal you can make your creations when you are brave enough to fully understand yourself.