Martyn Thompson Studio

TEXTILES AND INTERIOR ARTS

OCTOBER 2017 NEWSLETTER

Martyn ThompsonComment

LIBRA

October 2017

"NEW YORK" - Martyn Thompson.

"NEW YORK" - Martyn Thompson.

Ask a New Yorker “HOW ARE YOU?”  and a likely response is “TIRED”… Well, that’s what I’m always saying. It’s competitive and sort of passive aggressive. It means ”I’m working harder than I really think I should be” and includes the assumption that you’re doing the job of 3 people… which is entirely necessary in the current economic climate. It totally supersedes “BUSY”… which used to be the standard reply — a sign of productivity and success, but that’s no longer enough, so there’s been a shift to this exhausted type notion that pervades the workplace here. Lots of businesses even encourage a culture whereby their employees virtually never leave the office…”work hard, work hard”.

It’s all ultimately making sense of that phrase that enticed me here in the first place “THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS”… but I’m wondering… was “TIREDNESS” what I had in mind as I made my way to Liza’s New York, New York?

Trash on Staten Island, New York - Unknown photographer.

Trash on Staten Island, New York - Unknown photographer.

This lack of rest seems also a result of the fact that when you actually stop working and want to go to sleep it’s getting harder to achieve a restful state — the New York I live in is getting noisier and noisier. Construction thats going on all day seems to be continuing on all night — jack hammers start up on Prince street at around 10 in the evening — which you’d think was illegal — and just when you have thought it safe open the window for some air, the garbage collection begins. This seems to have become a midnight to dawn exercise in Soho where the amount of trash generated daily is simply astonishing.

"KENNETH PARK" - Martyn Thompson

"KENNETH PARK" - Martyn Thompson

This atmosphere does nothing to inhibit my own workaholism… it doesn't take much to get me into overdrive …something I am consciously trying to overcome. Getting a place outside of the city has certainly helped with this. When I climb aboard that bus in Port Authority to go to Woodstock each weekend I can feel my muscles relax… and I start thinking in a different way than I do in the city. I’ve lived in Manhattan nearly 20 years but it’s only the last 2 I’ve joined the town and country brigade… making that weekend exodus to restore me to sanity.

My new flip phone (photo taken with iPhone) - Martyn Thompson

My new flip phone (photo taken with iPhone) - Martyn Thompson

None of this is helped by the so called “smart” phone. I’m obsessed with my phone and the that fact that I just cant get away from it. It’s not that i don't want to talk to anyone — I do — but I don't want to also check my email, Instagram and news of the world, in pavlovian dog manner, each time I message or call someone — the proximity is addictive. So this last weekend I introduced a personal “phone free day”. Fortunately I’m so old I can remember a time when we didn't even have answering machines and made plans well in advance and stuck to them… a sort of nostalgic heaven it seems, and I'm often to be found floating happily in it.

 

My experiment went so well that I hastily purchased a flip phone and transferred my number… (in self congratulatory manner)… and I’m brutally reminded that texting wasn't quite so easy in the old days… (hopefully I get used to it!).

Libran, Marc Bolan - Estate of Keith Morris/Redferns, via Getty Images

Libran, Marc Bolan - Estate of Keith Morris/Redferns, via Getty Images

Librans… lovers of beauty and harmony… tactful, charming and just… superficial, indecisive, self indulgent. Whatever they may be I am very fond of them and often in need of their counsel, which typically is a clear picture of all the available options and often instrumental to my decision making process (but not always to theirs…). Librans strive for balance… for peace — they don't like to be stressed…
and I must agree — that is the way forward.

 

Happy October.

xM

SEPTEMBER 2017 NEWSLETTER

Martyn ThompsonComment

LEO / VIRGO

SEPTEMBER 2017

"Memory" collection for London Design Festival - Martyn Thompson.

"Memory" collection for London Design Festival - Martyn Thompson.

I’m on my way into New York City... feeling relaxed in a sleepy early morning way with a seeping undercurrent of urgency. Tomorrow I head to England for the London Design Festival and there’s a lot more I want to do today than there is really time for. This is always the way... I suffer from “over achiever”...

Chris and Bobby - Simone Silverman

Chris and Bobby - Simone Silverman

It’s been an amazing Labor Day weekend — my friends Bobby and Chris got married in Woodstock ... literally tons of people came to the wedding — from all over America.There were bonfires and brunches and endless performances as many of those gathered are engaged in industry of entertainment !!! I’ve never seen 2 people more happy to be together— who felt more suited.It was a celebration of freedom— the freedom of an only recently legalized right to choose.May it stay that way.

Sylvia Ray Rivera (front) and Arthur Bell at gay liberation demonstration, New York University, 1970.Photo - Diana Davies

Sylvia Ray Rivera (front) and Arthur Bell at gay liberation demonstration, New York University, 1970.Photo - Diana Davies

I’ve stopped reading the news. I’d fallen into a habit of perusing bbc.com before bedtime... most unhealthy — ignorance is not bliss but it makes for a better night’s sleep. It’s hard to take in what is going on around me. My 56 years on the earth bear witness to the brave struggle for,and the certain achievement of, greater equality for all sorts of people — us “ minorities”... it's heartbreaking to see this being undermined in the country I’ve made my home for the last 2 decades. To realize that so many people are opposed to this progress... What are they afraid of?

"Martyn Thompson" - Skyler Smith

"Martyn Thompson" - Skyler Smith

Often I’ve felt a stranger in this world. If I wanted to make a category of myself it would be “Queer Immigrant”. This has always been an outsider position. I became a foreigner aged 7 when I left the country I was born in. On starting school I naturally gravitated to the girls and not the boys... I was too good at dancing. I felt different... observing... looking in... to identify the places and people and ideas amongst which I am safe.

 "Leo" - Sidney Hall

 "Leo" - Sidney Hall

Chris is a Leo. He loves a crowd. The last dozen years of his life have focused on the creation of the “Secret City” — an integrated community performance art piece that celebrates not only the creative but being creative together — to share looks, attitudes and notions — to connect your inner and outer selves — to connect with others and “mingle”... as he says. It’s entirely unique.... a big idea... Leo’s have big ideas...

Ted Tarcher, member of the Oakland Pom Poms, Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade, San Francisco, California, June 28, 1987.  Photo - Tom Levy/Chronicle 1987

Ted Tarcher, member of the Oakland Pom Poms, Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade, San Francisco, California, June 28, 1987.  Photo - Tom Levy/Chronicle 1987

Often life’s great struggle is to feel a part of... I’m a part of The Secret City. It is one of my communities...a time and place I am comfortable. I love those moments in my daily life that make me feel at home in myself — a passing exchange in a store... a smile on the street. I got talking to my cab driver earlier today... we shared no racial or religious background and historically we had almost nothing in common, yet we totally connected because we cared about the same things... we shared a point of view
— a desire for people to accept each other.

Happy September x M

The White Butterfly - Martyn Thompson.

The White Butterfly - Martyn Thompson.