Martyn Thompson - "A Photographer Writing": #2 Around and About
It is curious how life circles around you. Twenty something years ago, my father gave me a painting by Australian artist, Michael Johnson.It’s a picture that I had coveted for years. As a teenager, I knew his children, Anna and Michael [jr].We are all about the same age and used to hang out in the same [extended] crowd.Then, recently, Anna and I started chatting on instagram and she invited me to visit her Dad’s studio a few weeks ago, on my annual Sydney sojourn.
There is little I like more in life than the romance of the artists’ studio. A dream to photograph - that often present balance of chaos and beauty is my kind of perfection. Awakening the dormant detective within, it’s an investigation of the mind at work- an insight into the process of creation. Johnsons' world is focused in color…inspired in nature…. the dawning red desert landscape… the radiant blue/greens of the cuttle fish.
Michael Johnson is a Pisces. Pisceans have, I think, abundant positive characteristics….….selfless, emotional intuitive, artistic, empathic….the piscean has a way of bringing out the best in people around them....endlessly caring - so long as you don't criticize them…..a gentle, moody, romantic… for whom life can be an emotional rollercoaster
I am awake and asleep at the same time, laying in bed in a sunny Bayswater bedroom in London: home of my friend Wandjina and my fortunate home away from home.The air is crisp….drinking tea, I’m answering emails and resigned to a general day of collapse. Leaving Sydney last Sunday, I spent four busy days in NYC: dealt with five weeks of unopened mail, rented a van and picked up newly upholstered furniture, photographed a story for the WSJ magazine, had two studio visits, one client meeting, two dinners, three breakfasts, attended two openings and then flew here yesterday. My body seems confused and my mind still racing…sleep walking…sleep working….
Of course…people help me with all this stuff…”no man is an island “ as John Donne wrote….. one of the only things I remember from school…along with the War of the Roses and the six wives of Henry the 8th.Its been a slow lesson to learn in life...but it's funny how it all turns out. Right now I’ll be asking for a lot more help, from a lot more folk, as a rather exciting thing has happened ……many years ago, my wonderfully supportive friend, Andrew Egan, said that one day my work will be in a museum .... this seemed to me most unlikely …but… it turns out his piscean intuition is right on target…..