“I learned that you don’t have to be what is expected of you, it’s way easier to just embrace who you are. Life is so much more fulfilling and full of gifts that
Name: Aline de Laforcade
Place of birth: Beyrouth, Lebanon
Do: Weaver. Textile Artist (see more on Instagram: @ibalstudio)
Where do you find your inspiration?
For work, the inspiration came from the native architecture here in Ibiza, raw, rough and textured, just like my work. The rest of my life is inspired by feeling true to myself. The word congruence resonates strongly with me. When I ‘m not living it, something in my gut feels very wrong, and I feel sick, so I have to fix it.
How did you arrive at tapestry, or how did it find you?
I’ve had this fascination for woven tapestries since they became a thing again in boho decors over the past few years, especially in the US and Australia. I just had to try it for myself and I got completely sucked in. Finding my own style was a great stepping stone and that got me to do the large formats. They do pose quite a challenge because working so close, you need to step back often to get a picture of the balance with shapes, colour and textures. That balance is a key element to achieve a harmonious result.
Tell us about the materials you use, how you source them (and if you like the idea of your work being touched!)
I understand people wanting to touch them, I enjoy that myself. I think that’s what texture is for!
I try to get as many materials I can in Ibiza: lots of agricultural supplies, like the jute, hemp and raffia, but also things from nature: carob seeds, palm, posidonia balls and driftwood. The wool I have to import from England; sadly it’s not produced in Ibiza (a big company comes here once a year to sheer the sheep and take away the wool.)
How do you think tactile art translates into the digital world?
I think tactile things feed the digital world (in their feeds, right?) It needs images of things that are real. It’s the base and inspiration for anything virtual to begin with. More than that, it’s a fantastic way for art to travel worldwide!
It’s been said that true artists create their own tools. You painstakingly build your own looms for your work. Do you think of yourself as a true artist?
I guess I see myself more as an artistic artisan. I rarely reproduce my work, and even if I do, never identically, so each piece is unique. It’s not so much about having a message but rather to bring a sensory enjoyment of nature indoors. I used to be a big art amateur, but I don’t relate too well with a lot of the more conceptual art these days.
You worked for many years with James Rizzi. What was that experience like and how does it inform your current work?
Although Jimmy’s work had become what some would say commercial, he was an extremely prolific and hardworking artist. At his drawing table from 7 a.m. with his coffee and cigarettes, he didn’t stop until bedtime. From him, I learned a certain discipline in work and also that inspiration is everywhere. I’m grateful for that, because I never run out of ideas for my work, only time!
Do you think there are any parallels between living in New York & living in Ibiza?
To me yes. It’s the freedom to be you. I learned that you don’t have to be what is expected of you, it’s way easier to just embrace who you are. Life is so much more fulfilling and full of gifts that way.
What’s the strangest comment you’ve received about your art?
Someone once remarked that one of my pieces looked like a pussy. I don’t think she meant a cat.
Ibiza is known as a destination for music; also in recent years for gastronomy. What do you think of its potential as a destination for art?
I think we are getting there, slowly. Food and music always seem to win versus art.
Speaking of gastronomy, where are your favourite places to eat on the island?
At home! Because my favourite foods are vegetables. But I love a Pollo Payes once in a while and my favourite is at Ses Escoles. I love Sardines at Utopia Beach too.
What is one thing that you would like to change about the world?
Corporate greed. If everyone really voted with their Euros, things probably could turn around. Another big one for me is getting back to the land. The way our food is grown is just insane! In that respect Ibiza is a pretty good place.
What is the best part of your day?
Being alone in my studio, working.
Do you have a personal mantra?
Just be kind.