Accidental art: Martyn Thompson turns his used rags into painterly textiles

Accidental art: Martyn Thompson turns his used rags into painterly textiles

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For Martyn Thompson that phrase rings true.

The New York-based artist and force behind Martyn Thompson Studio has found another use for his discarded drop-cloths and rags, transforming them into beautiful woven tapestries and fabrics that can be applied to everything from wall hangings to lamp shades.

Aptly named ‘The Accidental Expressionist’, the collection of jacquard-woven fabrics and murals made its debut at The Future Perfect in New York last week.

Often overlooked details and the force of the artist’s hand were the focus of the collection, as Pollack-esque splatters encouraged viewers to closely examine each textile to see the layering of colours and stains that went into it. For each piece, the incidental marks left by the artist from past projects have been collected and photographed, elevated and given new meaning as they were transformed from by-product to end product.

Visitors to The Future Perfect’s showroom can see the collection applied as upholstery to furniture, made into pillows and – in the case of the ’Quarry’ lamp – a lamp shade.

Resembling somewhat haphazard stacks of ceramic shards, the ’Quarry’ lamp is a collaboration between Thompson and the artist Dove Drury Hornbuckle. Made by hand, Hornbuckle crafts the composition of each lamp, with the crowning feature of each being a bespoke shade from Martyn Thompson Studio. The lamp is also available in a cast bronze edition, finished in a variety of patinas.

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