Gunilla “Nillan” Holmgren is a colourist and a visual artist who uses both painting and tapestry weaving as her medium. She gets her ideas from nature, the sea and the sky. Observing the shift in colours from light to dark, all year around, Nillan finds inspiration for her unique colour palette.
Before she starts weaving, she first paints a sketch in tempera. Then she hand-dyes wool and linen yarns in a pot, producing many different colours. In the weaving process, Nillan mixes many hundreds of nuances in a single weave, using up to five colours in each yarn thread, changing the colours often so as to achieve the rich and variegated expression she strives for. In this way Nillan manages to capture the abstract and shifting light in nature.
Photographer header picture: Jenny Thörnberg
WHAT DOES FIBER MEAN TO YOU?
Colour is my language. I find it stimulating to dye the yarn in precisely the shade I want and thereby create my own colour scale. I like the softness of fiber as well as the orderliness of the warp threads that gives me creative freedom to work intuitively with the weft.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TECHNIQUE?
WHAT IS YOUR MOST VIVID TEXTILE MEMORY?
When I started painting, I studied at Nyckelviksskolan. Part of the course included weaving, which I chose to skip until I found out that it was compulsory. Once I had tried it though, I was hooked and almost didn’t want to leave.