Laila’s works inspired from traditional art!

Laila's works inspired from traditional art!

What’s on your Loom is our continuing series featuring creations by artists and this time around, we showcase the works of Fiber Artist Laila Grønbekk, from Norway.  Most of Laila’s woven art depicts small, figurative motifs. And sometimes, she selects details which are then pieced together into a new composition.


Her latest project is about Medieval music: Musical instruments are depicted on a ‘Family Tree’ illustrating when they came into use. Around the tree, Laila portrays small pictures showing the instruments being used.  All the motifs depicted in the piece were found in old, illustrated manuscripts. She selected details, edited them and assembled them to suit her idea. For this project, Laila applies a number of different weave structures, though she preferred the weaves which best suited the Medieval expression. For the weft, Laila has used wool and linen.

These motifs depicted in the artwork below are inspired from the Baldishol tapestry, a Norwegian tapestry from around 1200 AD. The theme of this series is ‘the cycle of life’. Laila takes elements from the old tapestry and recomposes them into a new work and the thought behind it being, “New life grows from the old.” In these pieces, Laila has played around with various weave structures.

And here’s an example of the weave structures used decoratively in a small picture (detail)..


Laila is very intrigued by art, culture and living conditions from earlier times, and a lot of what she weaves is influenced by this. Especially inspiring for her have been book illustrations from the Middle Ages – they display a combination of simplistic, forthright motifs and rich ornamentation/décor.  She is fascinated by weave patterns and explores their expressions and properties in the loom. She also draws inspiration from the abundance of ancient embroideries that have been preserved over the years. She explains that the stitches form patterns, which inspire how she applies weave structures in the loom.