Artist Profile

FIRE ESCAPE: THE ARTWORK OF MARTIN THOMPSON

YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE IT, AFTER arriving at Dunedin International Airport at 1:30am on a drizzling dark March morning in 2018, what strikes me immediately about Dunedin (Otepoti) is a lot of its Edwardian colonial architecture has been retro-fitted with Film Noir-esque steel fire escapes that zigzag up and down the exterior of buildings in the inner city.

I am in Dunedin to learn what I can about the reclusive Martin Thompson and his phantasmagorical artwork, attempting to breach his own particular protective and restorative scaffolding, you could say.

Brett McDowell of the Brett McDowell Gallery, Martin Thompson’s dealer, had arranged for Martin to meet with us at his gallery at 11am. Brett and I turn up, we leaf through his stock of

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