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  • Martyn Thompson has contributed editorial to some of the world’s most respected magazines including, Architectural Digest, W, The New York Times Magazine and Vogue. Commercially, he’s created acclaimed imagery for many of the world’s leading brands including Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Hermès and MAC cosmetics. In addition to working on a number of published titles, including two books with regular collaborator Ilse Crawford, Thompson has recently released two books of his own - Interiors (2011) and Working Space (2013). 

  •  It was while searching for new ways to reproduce his personal artworks that Thompson came across the Jacquard loom. A long held passion for fabrics made the translation of his images onto textiles seem a natural choice.  On delivery of his first set of samples, he instantly fell in love with the qualities and texture of the jaquard tapestries.  Seeing his carefully woven images, made him realise the potential to use them in a practical manner, as soft furnishings and upholstery.  This led him to experiment more and before he knew it, he was producing a fabric and mural collection. This collection has now extended to hand printed wall papers, cushions, and lamp shades. All stitched with a beautiful, almost naive hand, giving the soft furnishings an organic, raw edge to the art referenced imagery.  As always with Thompson's career progressions, his interest empowers his direction. He drives forward into new territories fearlessly, his curiosity leading the way and shaping the next phase of Martyn Thompson's accidental career.

  • SP                     

     

                SPOTLIGHT: MARTYN THOMPSON 

                    THE ACCIDENTAL EXPRESSIONIST

     

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  •  PARIS.   

    Thompson was seduced at an early age first by glam rock and later the dynamic youth movements exploding in the early eighties. He was particularly captivated by the aesthetic of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s subversive early collections and the music of artists such as Siouxsie and the Banshees.

    Once he began photographing his own work, it wasn't long before he started shooting for local magazines. His work and distinct aesthetic began to get noticed and he was encouraged to move to Paris to propel his career. Later in the decade, Thompson relocated to London, and in the early nineties began collaborating with Australian editor Jane Roarty, who played a big role in his creative direction.  Together the pair shot many fashion stories, and the one thing that remained consistent in those stories was Thompson's sense of place and fascination with the interior and environment.



                                                                                                                                                                                                 


     




     


     


     

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  •  Right:  1983 - Fashion and Photography by Martyn Thompson.  The shots that launched Thompson's photographic career.

  •  NEW YORK.    OCTOBER, 2015

     Martyn Thompson is one of the few artistically driven photographers of his generation who seamlessly manage the difficult divide between personal and commercial work .  Difficult to tell what came from his own fascination and what was a clear client brief - he manages to imprint his own personality and individual approach on everything he does. Thompson has compassion, curiosity, heart and soul - it shines through everything he does.  It is his burning enquiry and his own, self developed, technique that sets his work apart and gives it it's distinctive edge.

    Specialising in Fashion and Interiors, Martyn's exploration into further reasons for, and renderings of his photographic work culminated in the opening of his new design studio last year.  Whilst still taking photographs and working on assignments, he now translates his photographs into woven textiles.

    Well known and highly respected in the world of fashion and interiors, Thompson's fabrics gained huge interest and press coverage before he had even officially launched a single thread.  This Autumn sees the official launch of his new collection 'The Accidental Expressionist' into New York's Design and Decoration building.  In celebration of the event, Baby Forest takes a look back and traces a career that seems to have come full circle.  

    Forever looking, forever learning, Martyn Thompson is 'The Accidental Expressionist'.


     




     

     

     

     

     

  • Right:  Fashion images illustrating Thompson's fascination with place as part of the overall story.  His evolution into  interiors photography seemed like a perfectly natural and organic progression.

  •  SYDNEY. 

    A graduate in English Literature, Thompson's burning interest in aesthetics immediately won him over after leaving University when he began producing a "Made in My Kitchen" fashion line.  He arrived at  photography by accident when shooting the collection he had designed. He found he was better at photography than fashion design, his images attracting far more attention than his clothes.  Being untrained in photography and essentially self-taught, his pictures reflected his own very different perspective, a perspective that resonated with editors and got him noticed.  They have continued to make a profound visual impact ever since.

     

    "My career began with fabric — in 1983. Returning to Sydney after my first trip to New York, I went out and bought fabric and fabric paints. New York had fired me with ambition. I made clothes from the fabrics I painted and sold them to a local boutique — then I opened a shop with a group of friends who were also designers. It all happened very quickly — I lived in an era of possibility. I photographed these clothes and ultimately became a photographer".      Martyn Thompson.

                                                                                                                                  




     


     



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  • ROOM ONE

    THE EARLY YEARS.

  •  “The Accidental Expressionist” is a collection of woven fabrics and murals that celebrate the creative process and the potential of unseen details. The incidental marks of the artist; paint splatters, stains and specks, are elevated and transformed into woven fabrics that speak to the beauty of unconscious creation. 

    The paint-blotted surfaces left behind from Thompson’s creative endeavors have been collected and photographed; these images have then been woven in 100% cotton on a jacquard loom to form abstract fabrics that are exuberant and expressive of the designer’s hand. The Jacquard fabrics are suitable for upholstery, soft furnishings and wall hangings.  

     All fabrics are woven in the USA

     


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  • ROOM THREE

      INTERIORS

  • NEW YORK,  AUTUMN 2015

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  • "His particular gift is mastery of light, which he seems to be able to capture even when there is none.  His pictures are illuminated in a manner that gives life to the interiors he shows – almost painterly.…..he revels in shadows, which gives his pictures a powerful presence, filling the interiors with a poetic beauty – a long way from the dazzling light of a lot of photography today".     Ilse Crawford, studioilse

  • LONDON.  


  • THE ACCIDENTAL EXPRESSIONIST

  • ROOM TWO

     FASHION

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  • It was in London when Martyn slowly began to move from fashion photography into the world of interiors. Jane Roarty introduced him to Ilse Crawford who, at the time was editing Elle Decoration.  They started working together and have collaborated on projects ever since.

    "One day in the early nineties at the magazine I was editing at the time, I came across some pictures taken by a young Australian fashion photographer of his own flat in London.  There  was something about them I was really taken with, something very different to the picture perfect interiors photography that was typical of the time.  They were dark, cinematic almost, and focused on the atmosphere and feeling of the space, and the sense of inhabitation."  Ilse Crawford.

    Perhaps due to his intellectual curiosity and a love of the lived environment, he began to develop a new, atypical approach to documenting interiors and architecture. In a Martyn Thompson image the human and the environment are always connected - the ordinary can become something enigmatic. His mastery of natural light is a skill that has made him highly sought after for still life and product photography.

     

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  • TEXTILES

  • "was searching to do something new with my photographs and this was a perfect medium. I had no concept how difficult it is to make a product in today’s market and have proceeded with a grim determination to make it work — backwards and forwards, forwards and backwards.  Now the groundwork is done".   Martyn Thompson.

  •  Right:  Images from Thompsons'  inaugral textile collection Cezanne's Shadow

  • Right:   Interiors Photography: Martyn Thompson  illustrates his mastery of natural light, and connection of the human to the environment.

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  •  To explore  Martyn Thompson's work  further follow this link 

     Follow this link to visit Martyn's  Shop

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  •  ROOM FOUR

  •  NEW YORK.  

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