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Staged artist home in New York

Photographer and textile designer Martyn Thompson’s motto is just do it. It permeates his private residence as well as his NYC showroom- and workspace-in-one

Dansk tekst i bunden

Words by Lene Ostenfeldt
Photo Martyn Thompson

Featured in Børsen Weekend DK

Wild patterns, fabrics of sumptuous fabrics and vintage furniture mingle and reflect the passage of time, here at the loft in Prince Street in Soho, downtown New York. A pulsating and well-known chill-out area for artists and fashion lovers, chic exclusive-end stores and see-and-be seen restaurants. Martyn Thompson is the photographer who became textile designer and has transformed the tackiness, or the “loft” which is the right trendy expression, to an original and creative oasis. Many of the area’s original and boring buildings have been bought and pepped by either business people or supermodels for a number of years, but Martyn Thompson has chosen to retain the original raw and unpolished appearance from the time the 1904 building was called The Little Singer Building. Now splatter-blades, flowers, Art Deco, art and nature in abstract form, has the right spirit for a break-up with the traditional way of working. A rapidly expanding development in especially the world’s leading metropolises. A creative brain is nurtured by change and development and all of this is part of the personal brand. The loft is now all-in-one space for work, private accommodation with room for socializing, sleeping, cooking and showroom where customers and business associates are invited to.

Hermés and Vogue

It is the textiles that are the focal point of the decor and color scheme in the large open spaces. The collections are based on Martyn’s Thompson’s background as fashion and lifestyle photographer. He was born in London, but early, the parents emigrated to Australia where 20-year-old Martyn became acquainted with the punk and interpreted the movement’s message to “You do not have to be educated in anything, just be fearless, get started and do what you can “. In those years he did a clothing-brand stiched by his hand-painted textiles. “I began to photograph the clothes and people became as interested in my photographs as in the clothes,” says Martyn Thompson. It became the start of a career as a photographer. After more than 30 years associated with the world’s largest magazines and luxury brands like Tiffany, Hermés and Vogue, his artistic cycle is a kind of complete, for now he’s back at the starting point, namely the textiles. “Actually, it was a pragmatic response to the 2008 crisis, being a photographer is no longer a protected title, all are photographers now,” says Martyn Thompson, “a part of me wanted to be a creative craftsman. I wanted nature into the home in the most abstract way “. The textiles are created by experiments with different ways of reproducing his own art. The details derive from photos from nature that are enlarged, manipulated and repeated digitally in photoshop image editor. The details are printed on the wallpaper and weave for heavy cotton fabric, is produced in the United States, the floral grades are printed in Italy. The collection Rock Pool is inspired by photographs Martyn has shot at the Ionian Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean. Glittering sunlight in the ocean, stones in different shades below the water surface and a light breeze in the long grass. “It’s essential for me to take nature – I need the fresh air and energy from the woods to create mental space for my creative thoughts, so I try to spend as much time as possible outside of New York. Most in Woodstock where I have a house. Once a year I travel to Australia where my family lives. There is here a small town of Currarong, when I go there by the sea, inspiration comes and I am completely calm. “.

Just do it!

The world-renowned British fashion rebel, Vivienne Westwood and fashiondesigner and producer for, amongst others the band The Sex Pistol’s, Malcolm McLaren, are prominent personalities who have also had great influence as inspirators of Martyn Thompson’s development. “I like to be part of a world where people create things, they are often more open and welcoming and not so afraid to express themselves.” The leading interior designer and founder of British Elle decoration, Ilse Crawford, often used his pictures when she was on the magazine, it became a window against the world and a friendship for life. “A decade ago, I think I lacked something essential in my life. I figured it was my go-to-be and the wildness of my young days, just being able to do what I wanted. It’s my motto just do it! Working and developing textiles I learn constantly, I have the passion. When you have that, the rest will follow naturally. ” / LeO

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From the kitchen you look through the living room facing the vibrant and hip Prince Street in New York. The industrial tables reminds the past of the building as The Little Singer Building.

On the work desk there are always new projects. Now it`s test print on the wallpaper where the subject splatter paint is enlarged and repeated in photoshop image editor. The collection is, as you can imagine – called Splat.

In the corner an additional workstation. On the shelves arrangements of books, flowers, art and textiles.

Blue in all shades creates a cool and elegant mood in the bedroom. Behind the bed is the textile Ripple wall panel, the bedspread layers are from the Society. The wardrobe is painted in midnight blue and turquoise, at the top a painting by Australian artist Emily Kame Kogwarreye and a black Capodimonte vase.

Initial shelf for paper rolls with backgrounds for photo footage, now showcase for Martyn Thompson’s collection of Jaquard-patterned textiles. The lighting is an old lamp from a photo studio.

Martyn Thomson’s textile design is designed to match the three collections. Different structure, surfaces and thicknesses make each result something unique. The textiles Dappled Butterfly and The Painted Galaxy are draped over a box of dust samples. The collections make use of both camera and computer.

Rear wall and table top in black is the quiet background for art and sculptures in the kitchen. Fronts on the kitchendoors are made of recycled wood.

The living room in subdued scenography. A giant canvas in soft moss green from ceiling to floor, forms the backdrop for the upholstery furniture that has been casual coated by Martyn’s own textile design. The doors can be opened up to a narrow terrace.

The accommodation department in the apartment is forever changing. Sumptuous floral motifs are hand painted directly on the raw walls in red, rose and pink color and spread all the way to the ceiling, radiators and blended with blue, mustard and brown colors on furniture and pillows. Fresh flowers in vases, green plants and tall cactus complete the botanical expression.

From the washbasin in the bathroom there is a view of dancing clouds, gulls and a lighthouse in the form of a painting. Listen from Larusi.

Martyn Thompson’s expressionist expression has become the subject of a series of handmade candles and cups for the brand 1882 LtD ceramics.

Martyn Thompson (55) studied as a young English literature at Sydney University, while painting on textile and sewing it up to his own clothes.

Martyn Thompson mixes coarse-grained film, architecture, textures and darkness in his paintings. / LeO

Børsen Weekend

/ Iscenesat kunstnerbolig i New York

Fotograf og tekstildesigner Martyn Thompsons motto er bare gør det, og det gennemsyrer hans private bolig som samtidig er hans showroom og arbejdsplads

Vilde mønstre, metervis af overdådige tekstiler og vintagemøbler der afspejler tidens gang mingler her på loftet i Prince Street i Soho, downtown New York, pulserende og kendt tilholdssted for kunstnere og modeskabere, chikke butikker i den eksklusive ende og se-og-bliv-set restauranter. Martyn Thompson er fotografen der blev tekstildesigner og som har transformeret taglejligheden, eller `loftet´ som er det rette trendy udtryk, til en original og kreativ oase. Mange af områdets oprindelige og kedelige bygninger er over en årrække opkøbt og peppet op af enten erhvervsfolk eller supermodeller, men Martyn Thompson har valgt at beholde det oprindelige rå og upolerede udseende fra dengang bygningen fra 1904 gik under navnet The Little Singer Building. Nu rammer splatter-klatter, blomster, Art Deco, kunst og natur i abstrakt form lige ned i tidsånden for opbruddet med den traditionelle måde at arbejde på. En hastigt voksende udvikling i især verdens førende metropoler. en kreativ hjerne næres af forandring og udvikling og alt deromkring er en del af det personlige varemærke. Loftet er nu alt-i-en-base for arbejde, privat bolig med plads til at socialisere, sove og lave mad, og showroom hvor kunder og forretningsforbindelser inviteres til.

Hermés og Vogue

Det er netop tekstilerne der er omdrejningspunktet for indretningen og farvesætningen i de store, åbne rum. Kollektionerne tager afsæt i Martyns Thompson`s baggrund som mode- og livsstilsfotograf. Han er født i London, men tidligt emigrerede forældrene til Australien hvor den 20-årige Martyn stiftede bekendtskab med punken og fortolkede bevægelsens budskab til ” Du behøver ikke være uddannet i noget som helst, bare vær frygtløs, gå i gang og gør det du kan ”. I de år havde han et tøj-brand syet af hans håndmalede tekstiler. ” Jeg begyndte at fotografere tøjet og folk blev ligeså interesserede i mine fotografier som i tøjet, ” fortæller Martyn Thompson. Det blev starten på en karriere som fotograf. Efter mere end 30 år tilknyttet verdens største magasiner og luksusbrands som Tiffany, Hermés og Vogue er hans kunstneriske cyklus er på en måde fuldent, for nu er han tilbage ved udgangspunktet, nemlig tekstilerne. ” Egentlig var det en pragmatisk reaktion på krisen i 2008, at være fotograf er ikke længere en beskyttet titel, alle er fotografer nu, ” siger Martyn Thompson, ” en del af mig ville tilbage til at være en skabende håndværker, jeg ville have naturen ind i boligen på den allermest abstrakte måde ”. Tekstilerne er skabt af eksperimenter med forskellige måder at reproducere hans egen kunst på. Detaljerne udspringer af fotografier fra naturen der forstørres, manipuleres og gentages digitalt i billedbehandlingsprogrammet Photoshop. Detaljerne trykkes på tapet og væves til metervis af kraftigt bomuldsstof på fabrikker i USA, de florlette kvaliteter trykkes i Italien. Kollektionen Rock Pool er inspireret af fotografier Martyn har skudt ved Det Ioniske Hav som er en del af Middelhavet. Glimtende sollys i havet, sten i forskellige nuancer under vandoverfladen og en let brise der smyger sig i græsset. ” Det er essentielt for mig at tage naturen ind – jeg har brug for den friske luft og energien fra skoven for at skabe mental plads til mine kreative tanker, så derfor prøver jeg på at have så meget som mulig tid udenfor New York. Mest i Woodstock hvor jeg har et hus. En gang om året rejser jeg til Australien hvor min familie bor. Der er den her en lille by Currarong, når jeg går her ved havet kommer inspirationen og jeg bliver fuldstændig rolig. ”.

Bare gør det!

Den verdenskendte britiske moderebel Vivienne Westwood og modeskaber og producer for blandt andre musikgruppen The Sex Pistols Malcolm McLaren er prominente personligheder der også har haft stor indflydelse som inspiratorer på Martyn Thompson`s udvikling. ” Jeg kan godt lide at være en del af en verden hvor folk skaber ting, de er ofte mere åbne og imødekommende og ikke så bange for at udtrykke sig personligt ”. Den toneangivende interiørdesigner og stifter af britiske Elle decoration Ilse Crawford, brugte ofte hans billeder da hun var på magasinet, det blev til et vindue mod verden og et venskab for livet. ” For et årti siden synes jeg, at jeg manglede noget essentielt i mit liv. Jeg fandt ud af det var mit gå-på-mod og vildskaben fra mine unge dage, bare det at kunne gøre hvad jeg ville. Det er mit motto, bare gør det! At arbejde og udvikle tekstiler lærer jeg af konstant, jeg har passionen, når du har den vil resten helt naturligt følge efter ” / LeO

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Fra køkkenet kigger man gennem stuen ud på den pulserende og hippe Prince Street. De industrielle borde minder bygningens fortid som The Little Singer Building.

På arbejdsbordet er der altid gang i nye projekter. Her test print på tapet hvor motivet er splatter-maling forstørret og gentaget i billedbehandlingsprogrammet Photoshop. Kollektionen hedder, ja -.. Splat.

I hjørnet en ekstra arbejdsstation. På hylderne arrangementer af bøger, blomster, kunst og tekstiler.

Blå i alle nuancer skaber en kølig og elegant stemning i soveværelset. Bag sengen er tekstilet Ripple vægpanel, sengetæpper lag på lag er fra Society. Klædeskabet er malet i midnatsblå og turkies, øverst et maleri af den australske kunstner Emily Kame Kogwarreye og en sort Capodimonte vase.

Oprindeligt reol for papirruller med baggrunde til fotooptagelser, nu udstilling for Martyn Thompsons kollektion af Jaquard-mønstrede tekstiler. Belysningen er en gammel standerlampe fra et fotostudie.

Martyn Thomsons tekstil-design er udviklet så de tre kollektioner matcher indbyrdes. Forskellig struktur, overflader og tykkelser gør hvert resultat til noget unikt.

Tekstilerne Dappled Butterfly og The Painted Galaxy er draperet over en æske med stofprøver. Kollektionerne gør brug af både kamera og computer.

Bagvæg og bordplade i mat sort er den rolige baggrund for kunst og skulpturer i køkkenet. Fronter på køkkenlågerne er lavet af genbrugstræ.

Stuen i afdæmpet scenografi. Et kæmpe lærred i sart mosgrøn fra loft til ud på gulvet, danner baggrund for polstermøblerne der har fået løse overtræk af Martyn`s eget tekstildesign. Glaspartiet kan åbnes op ud mod en smal terrasse.

Opholdsafdelingen i lejligheden er i evig forandring. Overdådige blomstermotiver er håndmalet direkte på de rå mure i røde, rosa og pink farve og breder sig helt op til loftet, på radiatorer og blander sig med tekstiler i blå, sennep og brune farver på møbler og puder. Friske blomster i vaser, grønne planter og meterhøje kaktus fuldender det botaniske udtryk.

Fra håndvasken på badeværelset er der udsigt til dansende skyer, måger og et fyrtårn i form af et maleri. Hør fra Larusi.

Martyn Thompsons ekspressionistiske udtryk er blevet motiv for en serie håndlavede kander og kopper for keramikvirksomheden 1882 LtD.

Martyn Thompson (55) studerede som ung engelsk litteratur på Sydney Universitet, imens malede han på tekstil og syede det op til sit eget tøj.

Martyn Thompsons blander grovkornet film, arkitektur, teksturer og mørke i sine malerier. / LeO