Much of Laing’s early work focused on clothing and fashion but he soon moved into a more multidisciplinary practice. In the words of the artist:
Seeking another way of approaching textiles, after clothes, I turned to a tufting gun, a mechanical yarn-drawing tool used in commercial carpet manufacture. The resulting works — extemporaneous, sculptural yarn paintings they could be called, perhaps, though “tapestry,” “piece-of-cloth” or “sampler” will also do — are made as much to be touched as to be looked at.
It follows that, while making them, a variety of texture-appraisals and hand-feels come into play, the better to invite and invoke broad sensual experience. Readymade yarn, indeed stringlike things of any kind or description, anything that the tool can work with, suddenly became significant materials, as did the decisions that went into their making and my respective judgements about them. I stopped trusting my good taste, which of course isn’t mine at all but a residue of the privilege of others — as I recall the critic and essayist Dave Hickey once putting it.
Any material will do for some yet-to-be-discovered effect, but especially the material that I find most profane, since that designation is itself so rich that “beautiful” feels a bit lacking next to it. Better yet: the material has somehow been chosen by someone else, valued in ways I can only guess, and has come to me as discarded ends from other projects long passed or abandoned.