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© Vanessa Barragâo Studio
© Agnese Morganti
© Vanessa Barragâo Studio
© Vanessa Barragâo Studio

Vanessa Barragão

  • Tapestry maker
  • Albufeira, Portugal
  • Rising Star
Vanessa Barragão Tapestry maker
© Vanessa Barragâo Studio

When tapestries become messages

  • • Vanessa uses recycled textile materials to create her artworks
  • • Her inspiration comes from the sea and her desire to protect the planet
  • • Exploring eco-friendly production methods is central to her work

Vanessa Barragão makes highly creative and original handmade tapestries and rugs that have caught the eye of connoisseurs worldwide. Her pieces made from recycled textiles have been exhibited in cities including Sydney, Taipei and New York, and Vanessa speaks affectionately of a piece called Botanical Tapestry which was presented in 2019 at Heathrow airport. Her beautiful artworks demonstrate her mastery of traditional techniques such as latch hook, crochet and felt needle and how she uses these in contemporary ways to convey important messages about the threats our planet is facing today. She received the prize for Young Innovators Creating a Better World from the Women Economic Forum 2019.

Read the full interview


  • © Studio Vanessa Barragão
  • © Studio Vanessa Barragão
  • © Studio Vanessa Barragão
  • © Studio Vanessa Barragão
  • © Studio Vanessa Barragão
Photo: © Studio Vanessa Barragão

Part of a series about coral reefs, this wall piece was made with latch hooking and crocheting techniques. With Coralium, Vanessa addresses the issue of global warming and the negative impact of the textile industry on the oceans. Believing in conscientious production methods, she only uses materials coming from the deadstock of a specific artisanal rugs factory in Beiriz.

Height 80 cm
Length 80 cm

Photo: © Studio Vanessa Barragão
Bleached coral

Vanessa’s Bleached coral series focuses on climate change and how it affects the ecosystem and contributes to coral bleaching. Passionate about conscientious production methods, she handmade this wall piece using recycled materials only, as well as latch hooking and crocheting techniques.

Height 120 cm
Length 150 cm

Photo: © Studio Vanessa Barragão

This hand tufted and crocheted rug was made by Vanessa using recycled fibres only. She drew inspiration from threatened coastal lands as places of transition where biodiversity needs to be preserved. It was made in cooperation with D/Dock Amsterdam for the project The Healing Hub in Ventura Lambrate, Milan.

Height 400 cm
Length 400 cm

Photo: © Studio Vanessa Barragão
Full Moon

Vanessa was inspired to make the Full Moon rug by the diverse blurred shapes visible on the Moon’s surface as well as deep sea coral reefs. To produce the rug's multi-layered texture, she played with several materials and inserted little crocheted sea urchins in different parts of the hand tufted surface.

Height 250 cm
Length 250 cm

Photo: © Studio Vanessa Barragão

With this Ocean rug, Vanessa focuses on marine pollution. The textile industry being one of the most polluting industries in the world, it particularly affects the oceans. In her own production, Vanessa tackles this problem by using only recycled organic materials and traditional craftsmanship techniques like hand tufting and crocheting.

Height 110 cm
Length 110 cm

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