Designer Sessions: Mimi Forrest

Designer Sessions: Mimi Forrest

Mimi Forrest recently graduated with BA (Hons) Textile Design from London’s Central St Martins School of Art and Design and she has already become one of textile design’s leading new talents, lately holding a solo exhibition at Copenhagen’s Karin Olesen Gallery. Mimi’s work is distinct, its rips and tears revealing new layers of strong graphical motifs and typography for a look that is powerful and rooted in the surrounds of everyday urban life. In her designs for FLOOR_STORY, Mimi has captured this unique aesthetic in four bold designs that bring an element of the unexpected.

How would you describe your style and what has influenced your design?

Certainly bold, graphic and richly-coloured. It’s influenced by and evolves from collected and recorded ephemera in everyday environments and especially remnants of typography. I then use this information as source imagery to create new surfaces that are sometimes two-sided, pleated or folded. Photography plays a large part in stimulating my ideas and I use the camera to frame potential layouts, designs and inspiring colourways.

Can you tell us a little more about your designs for FLOOR_STORY and exactly what inspired them?

My four designs – Rip, Tear, Split and Fold – focus on bold and large-scale imagery inspired by ripped posters and found papers, combining them with unrefined surface materials. I found the layering and low-level relief that was naturally created by the posters intriguing. I showed Simon my collages and paperwork from my research and the rugs evolved from there.

What attracted you to working with FLOOR_STORY and more importantly, the process of rug making?

With an endless variety of techniques, materials and tactile approaches available, the creative potential of interpreting design into a rug is vast. I’m fascinated by the process and the infinite possibilities for outcomes; colours, textures and techniques coming together in interesting and unusual combinations. I love the relationship that’s created by scale, positioning within a space and how something that’s apparently two-dimensional can be so influential in a three-dimensional environment. It’s an art form with a function that engages and interacts with the environment and its people.

Simon is so obviously passionate about the craft of rug making and is certainly skilled and knowledgeable about the different techniques. He was open-minded and responded to my individual creative approach, as different from the previous and next, yet with equal emphasis on the quality of the final rug. It was a process that I found hugely enjoyable.

Can you describe your new rugs?

I wanted to create rugs with an element of the unexpected. They represent the non-uniformity and irregularity of ripped posters and discarded papers through the creation of irregular edges and unexpected lines. The captivating peeling and ripping I discovered in my research has been conveyed through leaving threads unsorted.

How do the rugs make you feel?

In short, like I want to make more and more!