October 1, 2019
People
The Design Editions

Martyn Thompson is relishing the stillness at his new home in the countryside. After 20 years in New York City, the internationally renowned artist and photographer has recently left the bustle of urban life in favour of a more low-key existence just outside the town of Woodstock, two hours north of Manhattan. ‘I bought the house four years ago and have been going backwards and forwards ever since’ he explains. ‘The idea is to spend lots more time in England, and in Australia with my family, so I needed to simplify my New York experience.’

 

Originally from London, Martyn’s global lifestyle has taken him to Australia and Paris and back to the English capital before he found himself settled in the Big Apple. Having made his name as a fashion photographer he then shifted seamlessly in to the lifestyle arena, quickly building up a portfolio of prestigious clients. Now, his work encompasses photography as well as a range of fine textiles and a series of homeware collaborations, the most recent of which is a new collection with Jo Malone London. ‘I’ve worked with the brand as a photographer for many, many years’ he explains, ‘so when they suggested we collaborate it seemed the perfect stylistic fit.’

 

Including a Peony & Blush Suede Luxury Candle and Lime Basil & Mandarin Home Candle, (and coming soon: Lime Basil & Mandarin and English Pear & Freesia Diffusers), the limited-edition Martyn Thompson x Jo Malone London range is packaged in exquisite ceramic vessels all of which are crafted by design-led, British ceramics manufacturer 1882 Ltd. and decorated with his unique, painterly photography. ‘I use a technique that I discovered quite by accident, where I keep the ink wet for a long time, let it dry, manipulate and re-photograph it several times. This way photography becomes a tool for craft’ he explains. ‘The oval shapes on the vessels take their cue from Victorian cameos and are something I use a lot in my work. Within them are a series of floral still lives, partly inspired by Cezanne, the colours of which relate back to the ingredients in the perfumes. Touches of green and orange in the Lime Basil & Mandarin, - just a suggestion of colour.’ 

 

Indeed, since his move to Woodstock the effects of nature are something Martyn finds himself absorbing more and more. ‘I’ve really got in to gardening, and the fact that I’m seeing less of an urban palette and a lot more flowers means I’m adding different, much happier highlights to the colours I use’ he says. ‘I’ve pretty much been in cities all of my life and I always felt comfortable in New York. It was such an incredible melting pot, and still is, but I think being open to change is important. It’s good to know how you’re feeling and to be able to embrace it.’

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