She was born in Beirut and lived all over the world: Saudi Arabia, Sidney, New York, Paris and Brussels. But when she got to the island she decided to stay. Aline Laforcade, the weave queen of Ibiza.
Your incredible ethnic weaves could certainly be described as native. Can you tell us about your journey to Ibiza?
I was born in Beirut, but raised in Saudi Arabia, Sydney and New York. After studying in Paris and moving to Brussels for a while, I then spent a lot of time in New York. It’s a city where you can find the freedom to become who you truly are – and that can be many things at a time. I found that same freedom and diversity in Ibiza when I moved here three years ago. Federico Fellini once said, “You have to live spherically – in many directions.”
What was the original idea for your art?
When I arrived I had no professional plans and I was resting for the first time in ages. I had seen some weaves in some magazines, and fell in love! I am a very DIY person, so I searched the internet for tutorials, built my first loom out of a wooden board and some nails, and made my first little weave. It then literally just flowed out from me. I made more and more, bigger and bigger, built new looms, found my own style, and now my latest homemade loom is two metres by two metres!
How does Ibiza inspire your work?
Well, obviously through nature! Being a city girl all of my life, I’ve always wanted to bring a piece of nature inside the home. Now I do, with feathers, seeds, raffia, driftwood, and whatever I can get my hands on! It was great to find a way to bring it together in a composition. My other inspiration was the local payés architecture. Sometimes the hard lines and angles of photography or painting don’t suit those irregular, textured, dry-stone walls. I guess that’s why a lot of homes are decorated with straw hats, bamboo mirrors and the like. Those walls call for nature and texture, and that is what my work is all about.
What is the biggest compliment you have ever been given regarding your work?
I love it when someone says that they’ve never seen anything like it. It means that they own their taste and are daring enough to decorate with something out of the ordinary, although it would be nice to see more textile art out there. But the biggest compliment for me is of course when someone takes my work home. I was ecstatic when the cult fashion designer Isabel Marant got a piece for her home here.
* This article was published in Nativ Ibiza Magazine, in August 2019.