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Vanessa Barragão

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The art of handmade was always present in my life. Since my childhood this presence was growing, as there are many artisans in my family. I think this is an important fact for how I have developed as a textile artist. I have fond childhood memories of seeing my grandmothers crocheting. Woodworking, basketry, crocheting and knitting and couture are all very familiar techniques to me.

Vanessa Barragão
Photo by Vanessa Barragão Studio

When I was in school, drawing was always my favorite subject. Making things with my own hands was always very important for me. Crochet and drawing were the first processes of expression; I found them kind of meditative and also a way to relax. When I started my university degree in fashion design, I began developing more techniques in order to create all my handmade pieces, and this was a meditative process as well.

I am trying to awaken people’s souls and minds to this issue so I can get more people to help the world.

Vanessa Barragão
Photo by onefifteen 初衣食午

For six years I lived in Lisbon while completing my undergraduate and master’s degrees in fashion and textile design. During this period, I learned and improved some techniques like natural dyeing, the entire handmade wool process (from the sheep until the yarn), knitting, weaving, macramé, felting, latch hook and so many others. This was a very important period in my life. I feel that I really grew not only as a person, but also in a professional way as an artist.

Vanessa Barragão

It was during this period that the big developments for my project started. When I finished my master’s degree, I felt that I would like to learn more about textiles and handmade ancestral processes, so I decided to move to Porto where the industry core is located. I started working as a textile designer in the oldest rug factory in Portugal, Tapetes Beiriz. At the same time, I was still working on my own art projects. The work in the factory was not only very important, but actually an essential step in my career. I learned a lot about fibers and two more techniques: hand tufting and hand knotting. Here I had the opportunity to understand more about the carpet business and discover how much waste the factories produce.

Vanessa Barragão
Photo by Heathrow AirPort and Kew Gardens

In 2016 my independent work started growing in a way that I never expected. I was invited for a few collective exhibitions in different parts of the world, and a lot of people started being interested in admiring my work and even acquiring my pieces to put in their homes. It made me feel really happy and proud of my work, and it was also a motivation to continue and keep going with my vision. Today I am living in Porto and I’m a full time artist, dedicating 100% to my work, art, vision and message.

Vanessa Barragão

Growing up in the seaside, my connection to the ocean has always been present in my creations. My work was always inspired by the ocean and nature. During my childhood I used to travel a lot with my parents to the Caribbean and that was where, for the first time, I saw the coral reefs in Jamaica and it got me really very excited. This experience is still in my mind, like a photograph. All the colors and life present there were the most impressive and beautiful things I had ever seen. It was a completely different undersea landscape—totally unlike my reality. The coral reefs are very sensitive animals and a big “column” of marine life. All the little fishes depend on the coral reefs to survive.

Vanessa Barragão

Nowadays, those animals are threatened because of global warming. Only two degrees in ocean temperature change are enough for them to start bleaching, and that means that they start dying. Global warming and pollution are destroying the ocean biodiversity and the coral reefs are one of the most threatened species. Unfortunately, I had the chance to see this sad reality with my own eyes, year by year, during my travels to the Caribbean. And that is something that I will never forget.

Vanessa Barragão

After I finished my university studies, I decided to focus on this issue, in order to try to “help” the coral and the world. I know that are a lot of people who have never had the chance to see these environments and, with my artworks, I try to show them what it is our unfortunate reality. I try to put all my passion and feelings that I felt when I saw the coral into my pieces. This way, people can maybe understand my vision and what is happening to our environment.

The most incredible part of my process is the organic way the piece grows, and the final result is always a surprise for me as well!

Vanessa Barragão

The biggest and most important message that I want to transmit is the importance of helping our home, Earth. I really want to touch in people’s minds and hearts, so they can start to challenge themselves. We have to change our mentality and actions! The pollution and the waste we create are unbelievable and the Earth will not continue to survive this. As an ocean lover, I try to press this issue in my artworks, showing the importance of recycling and using handmade production techniques.

Vanessa Barragão

When I started working in the Tapetes Beiriz factory, I started using the waste there to create my pieces and I still do. Nowadays, there are more factories collaborating with me in this quest for zero waste and it makes me feel really proud. I really want to inspire people to create and be creative in order to help our planet.

Vanessa Barragão
Photo by Vanessa Barragão Studio

Life Flow Coral is an artwork I developed during an art residency I completed at Dyeing House Gallery in Prato, Italy. During two weeks of the residency all the process was documented in a way to understand my creative work as it progressed. The work in progress started with the fibers, yarns and respective color selection. DHG has a very special colors collection as it is a part of Grupo Colle. As a dyeing factory they try to be as sustainable and ecological as possible in their dyeing process. All the materials used in Life Flow Coral were from this company.

Vanessa Barragão

With all the materials selected, the piece started to emerge. The shape was defined on canvas and the organic process of including the yarns on it has started, using ancestral and handmade techniques like latch hook and crochet. The process is like a puzzle; I try to decide which color, which shape and which technique will fit best. I follow my intuition as part of a natural process. I never draw, so it’s only at the end that I see where the piece is going. When the piece is finished I hope people will finally discover the essence of the artwork and that it will stir feelings in the viewers.

I believe if you combine work and passion, you will be able to work with more will and pleasure, you will work harder and, consequently, you will get better results. I believe that art must transmit our identity, our thoughts and our beliefs. If you have an idea to convey to the ones who contemplate and admire your work or art, it will be meaningful. If we can combine our work and our message to a purpose, everything becomes more natural, easy, organic and simple.

I try to do my work following the belief that we should help our planet, repay what thenplanet has done for us, and save our home.

The art of handmade was always present in my life. Since my childhood this presence was growing, as there are many artisans in my family. I think this is an important fact for how I have developed as a textile artist. I have fond childhood memories of seeing my grandmothers crocheting. Woodworking, basketry, crocheting and knitting and couture are all very familiar techniques to me.

Vanessa Barragão
Photo by Vanessa Barragão Studio

When I was in school, drawing was always my favorite subject. Making things with my own hands was always very important for me. Crochet and drawing were the first processes of expression; I found them kind of meditative and also a way to relax. When I started my university degree in fashion design, I began developing more techniques in order to create all my handmade pieces, and this was a meditative process as well.

I am trying to awaken people’s souls and minds to this issue so I can get more people to help the world.

Vanessa Barragão
Photo by onefifteen 初衣食午

For six years I lived in Lisbon while completing my undergraduate and master’s degrees in fashion and textile design. During this period, I learned and improved some techniques like natural dyeing, the entire handmade wool process (from the sheep until the yarn), knitting, weaving, macramé, felting, latch hook and so many others. This was a very important period in my life. I feel that I really grew not only as a person, but also in a professional way as an artist.

Vanessa Barragão

It was during this period that the big developments for my project started. When I finished my master’s degree, I felt that I would like to learn more about textiles and handmade ancestral processes, so I decided to move to Porto where the industry core is located. I started working as a textile designer in the oldest rug factory in Portugal, Tapetes Beiriz. At the same time, I was still working on my own art projects. The work in the factory was not only very important, but actually an essential step in my career. I learned a lot about fibers and two more techniques: hand tufting and hand knotting. Here I had the opportunity to understand more about the carpet business and discover how much waste the factories produce.

Vanessa Barragão
Photo by Heathrow AirPort and Kew Gardens

In 2016 my independent work started growing in a way that I never expected. I was invited for a few collective exhibitions in different parts of the world, and a lot of people started being interested in admiring my work and even acquiring my pieces to put in their homes. It made me feel really happy and proud of my work, and it was also a motivation to continue and keep going with my vision. Today I am living in Porto and I’m a full time artist, dedicating 100% to my work, art, vision and message.

Vanessa Barragão

Growing up in the seaside, my connection to the ocean has always been present in my creations. My work was always inspired by the ocean and nature. During my childhood I used to travel a lot with my parents to the Caribbean and that was where, for the first time, I saw the coral reefs in Jamaica and it got me really very excited. This experience is still in my mind, like a photograph. All the colors and life present there were the most impressive and beautiful things I had ever seen. It was a completely different undersea landscape—totally unlike my reality. The coral reefs are very sensitive animals and a big “column” of marine life. All the little fishes depend on the coral reefs to survive.

Vanessa Barragão

Nowadays, those animals are threatened because of global warming. Only two degrees in ocean temperature change are enough for them to start bleaching, and that means that they start dying. Global warming and pollution are destroying the ocean biodiversity and the coral reefs are one of the most threatened species. Unfortunately, I had the chance to see this sad reality with my own eyes, year by year, during my travels to the Caribbean. And that is something that I will never forget.

Vanessa Barragão

After I finished my university studies, I decided to focus on this issue, in order to try to “help” the coral and the world. I know that are a lot of people who have never had the chance to see these environments and, with my artworks, I try to show them what it is our unfortunate reality. I try to put all my passion and feelings that I felt when I saw the coral into my pieces. This way, people can maybe understand my vision and what is happening to our environment.

The most incredible part of my process is the organic way the piece grows, and the final result is always a surprise for me as well!

Vanessa Barragão

The biggest and most important message that I want to transmit is the importance of helping our home, Earth. I really want to touch in people’s minds and hearts, so they can start to challenge themselves. We have to change our mentality and actions! The pollution and the waste we create are unbelievable and the Earth will not continue to survive this. As an ocean lover, I try to press this issue in my artworks, showing the importance of recycling and using handmade production techniques.

Vanessa Barragão

When I started working in the Tapetes Beiriz factory, I started using the waste there to create my pieces and I still do. Nowadays, there are more factories collaborating with me in this quest for zero waste and it makes me feel really proud. I really want to inspire people to create and be creative in order to help our planet.

Vanessa Barragão
Photo by Vanessa Barragão Studio

Life Flow Coral is an artwork I developed during an art residency I completed at Dyeing House Gallery in Prato, Italy. During two weeks of the residency all the process was documented in a way to understand my creative work as it progressed. The work in progress started with the fibers, yarns and respective color selection. DHG has a very special colors collection as it is a part of Grupo Colle. As a dyeing factory they try to be as sustainable and ecological as possible in their dyeing process. All the materials used in Life Flow Coral were from this company.

Vanessa Barragão

With all the materials selected, the piece started to emerge. The shape was defined on canvas and the organic process of including the yarns on it has started, using ancestral and handmade techniques like latch hook and crochet. The process is like a puzzle; I try to decide which color, which shape and which technique will fit best. I follow my intuition as part of a natural process. I never draw, so it’s only at the end that I see where the piece is going. When the piece is finished I hope people will finally discover the essence of the artwork and that it will stir feelings in the viewers.

I believe if you combine work and passion, you will be able to work with more will and pleasure, you will work harder and, consequently, you will get better results. I believe that art must transmit our identity, our thoughts and our beliefs. If you have an idea to convey to the ones who contemplate and admire your work or art, it will be meaningful. If we can combine our work and our message to a purpose, everything becomes more natural, easy, organic and simple.

I try to do my work following the belief that we should help our planet, repay what thenplanet has done for us, and save our home.