Thompson’s aesthetic, anchored in the touch of the hand, stems from his love of craft and speaks to his interest in the visual push me, pull me between nostalgia and now. The fabric collections, all made in the United States marry the hand-made with technology using Thompson’s archive photography, which is edited and manipulated into repeat patterns, some of them large scale, and then woven on a jacquard loom in cotton.
"The debut collection ‘Cézanne’s Shadow’, was garnered from his Impressionist inspired photographic series “Falling in Love at the Institute’”. Realising the potential for interior upholstery Thompson began to develop ideas for yardage, as opposed to single woven images, resulting in ‘The Accidental Expressionist’, a collection generated by photographs of paint-splattered surfaces in Thompson’s studio. The ‘Rock Pool’ collection, recently launched at the London Design Festival, retains the painterly quality of the previous textiles in the brushstrokes, which are likened to the movement of light playing on water. Director of Spence & Lyda, Fiona Spence’s response to seeing the work for the first time was to find herself entranced. “A jacquard loom is generally used to express graphic pattern but in Martyn’s fabrics its ability to achieve intricate detail has been used to build colour and shape literally one thread at a time. This encourages the eye to create the colours and pattern much as Seurat did with Pointilism. These large scale visuals reveal their treasures under close inspection and are the kind of detail that can add so much to contemporary interiors”.