botanical tapestry by vanessa barragão depicts threatened species across world map

botanical tapestry by vanessa barragão depicts threatened species across world map

textile artist vanessa barragao meticulously crafts her latest work — the botanical tapestry — in celebration of the partnership between london’s heathrow airport and kew gardens. the rich, textural piece depicting the world map is now installed at terminal 2’s departure forecourt. the portuguese artist, continuing to develop her large-scale creations with entirely handcrafted ancestral techniques, dedicated over 520 hours to the botanical tapestry. with eight kilograms of jute and cotton and forty-two kilograms of recycled wool, the massive work measures 600 by 200 centimeters. 

vanessa barragao heathrow
images courtesy of studio vanessa barragão



vanessa barragão presents the botanical tapestry as a vibrant, gestural abstraction of the world map. with the use of latch hook, felt needle, crochet, and carving techniques each continent is rendered in colors and textures reflective of its unique geographic characteristics. in continuation of her previous works, the artist highlights present environmental concerns as the piece is punctuated with such threatened species as the coral reefs and protected plants around the world — these include cypripedium calceolus and pulsatilla vulgaris in europe, ginkgo biloba in china, and the orchid bulbophyllum ankylochele in indonesia.

vanessa barragao heathrow



through the continuous effort to make use of upcycled textiles, barragão demonstrates a refusal to contribute to the production of industrial waste and energy. with the ocean tapestry the artist made use of materials entirely reclaimed from the deadstock of local factories which were then cleaned and utilized for the hand crafted, artisanal work. the effort a response to the dyeing processes, energy consumption by production machinery, and disposal methods by the industry.

vanessa barragao heathrow



barragão recognizes the harmful effects of these processes, particularly on the oceans which absorb 90% of the excess heat trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. the botanical tapestry serves as a reminder of the environmental implications across a global scale together with the great diversity of the natural world.

vanessa barragao heathrow vanessa barragao heathrow vanessa barragao heathrow vanessa barragao heathrow vanessa barragao heathrow

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