An interview with Imogen Heath
Twice a year we embark on a collaboration with unique and inspiring textiles designers to showcase their extraordinary talent. This season we partnered with the wonderful Imogen Heath, who has created two exclusive fabric designs which are available to upholster on our full range. We recently sat down with Imogen to find out more about her design process, creative flair, and her style in her own home.
Where did your creative flair originate and what made you want to turn it into a career?
I was brought up within a creative family that goes back generations: painters, photographers, illustrators, animators. My path was set, I never thought to do anything else. The entrepreneurial flair probably originated from my Granddad who ran his own Interior design firm, but I never imagined I would end up working within interiors myself. I always thought I would follow in my mother’s footsteps, who worked as a set designer. It was through exploring this that I discovered textiles. Textiles appeared to me to incorporate all of the arts, and I was satisfied with that.
2. Where does your love of geometric and organic motifs come from?
I have always enjoyed painting and drawing first and foremost, I love the outdoors and do my best to capture the feeling of nature in my work. But in my training to become a textile designer at the University of Brighton, I discovered weaving. I loved it, I was encouraged to pursue it and weave became my specialism. The geometry in my print work shows an unwillingness to let go of weave, and as my career develops I hope to discover weave again
3. What methods did you use for creating the collaboration with sofa.com?
From the start, we decided to have a geometric and floral within the collection, and to start with I was inspired by the colours that sofa.com asked me to use. I went to a few parks and that palette was everywhere I looked. I settled upon a bellflower that appeared to grow everywhere, even up my own garden path. I took photos and made some studies of the flower, paying close attention to how it cascaded down walls making vertical stripes with its leaves and flowers. The geometric was created by taking an even close look at the flower at the negative shapes. I painted the leaves and scanned all my studies into the computer, layering the textures and the colours before creating the final pattern repeat within photoshop. The final design was then made ready for digital print into an upholstery cloth.
4. How would you describe your interior style in your own home?
As you know I love pattern, and I would not shy away from having 8 prints at once in my living room. I also love art and have many abstract paintings and illustrations on my walls. It is not overtly girlie, I love blues, greens and greys and love to throw in bright splashes of colour, and texture where ever possible. I do love a vintage find too, so my home is mostly made up a collection of things I have acquired over time. From my collection of textural & colourful ceramics to my favourite art deco armchair, & glass cabinet, and of course the odd midcentury-inspired piece.
5. How would you style the four fabrics in the collection?
The leaves design and the geometric are designed to compliment each other, so I would choose both prints, opting for either the multicoloured & ivy colour-way or the blue & grey colour way and build on the palette. Isolating colours and introducing them as block colours throughout the setting – as complimentary fabrics and cushions, on walls and accessories. This will really show off the prints.
Imogen Heath’s Geometric in Spring Green
Imogen Heath’s Geometric in Steel GreyImogen Heath’s Leaves in Ivy
Imogen Heath’s Leaves in Jasmine