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My Story

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MY STORY

My name is Vanessa Barragão. I'm Portuguese and native from the south. I was born in a seaside town, Albufeira. Growing up close to my family, with the ocean and nature around me, my thoughts, my vision and passions became inspired by these environments.

Since my childhood I used to develop things with my hands, from sand castles to doll’s cloths. When I started school, I felt in love and obsessed with drawing and there was when, with 6 years old, I realized my passion for handmade and the importance it has for me. Crochet and drawing were the first ways of expression and relaxing I developed unconscientious.

When I got 18 years old, I left the south and moved myself to Lisbon, to start the university under and master degrees. During 6 years I studied fashion design and this was a very important stage in my life. I grew so much as a person and professionally as an artist. I started being more conscious about consumption, ecology and sustainability in my routine and in my projects. When I finished the university, I felt that I would like to explore more about textiles and handmade ancestral processes rather than keep continue in fashion area.

In 2016, I decided to move myself to Porto where the textile industry core is located. I lived here for almost 4 years, spliting my time working as a textile designer in an artisanal rugs' factory and working on my own textile projects. In the last year, living in this city, I focused my efforts on my project, opening my first studio in the city center and starting working as full time on it.

In the beginning of 2020, I decided to get back to my roots. Now, I have my studio in the city where I was born and grew: Albufeira. This way, I feel that I can not only be more connected with myself, but also be closer to the environment that inspires me and to the people I love, my family.

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My Studio

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MY STUDIO

This is a textile art studio focused on handmade and ancestral techniques, using wastes to create artwork, showing the importance of preserving handmade processes and upcycling to fight against our planet issues.

Vanessa Barragão studio was founded in 2014. The beginning of this project was marked by the wool yarn collection developed during her master degree. This 100% ecological and artisanal collection was developed using only discarded wool from sheeps. Since this project, Vanessa got e new passion for wool and for upcycling, so she decided to put use this two things as the main bases of her artworks creation, mixing this new concept with all the background she had of ancestral techniques.

Since this beginning until October of 2018, Vanessa used to do her creations in home. With a big commissions affluence, she felt that it was necessary to change her workplace to a dedicated space focused only on her projects. Her first studio was opened in the center of Porto city. There she was able to collect more leftovers and have more space to create bigger art pieces.

In the beginning of 2020, her studio moved to the south of Portugal, to Vanessa’s home town: Albufeira.

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My Process, Techniques & Materials

The process, techniques and materials used are a very important point in the studio as they are the main foundation of this project.
The creation process is slow and it requires passion and dedication. It’s a very organic process, since the evolution of each artwork becomes natural and spontaneous varying with the creator's mood and feelings, generating an unpredictable and unknown result.
The techniques are based on ancestral textile practices like latch hook, crochet, felt, weaving, embroidery and macrame.
All the materials used come from wastes, leftovers and deadstocks of Portuguese factories. All the yarns are submitted to a cleaning and selection process before being used.

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My inspiration, Vision & Mission

During my childhood I used to travel a lot with my parents to the Caribe, where, for the first time, I saw coral reefs, in Jamaica, I got really exited. This experience is still in my mind like a photograph. All the colors and life present there were the most impressive and beautiful thing I have ever seen, since in my country the under sea is totally different. Year by year we used to travel to this area of Caribbean Sea and the degradation evolution of coral reefs was getting more evidenced every time we visited this place. The corals losing the colors and the biodiversity getting lost were acausing me a very sad feeling. The textile industry is one of the most polluting in the world. In almost the entire process, chemicals are used, specially when it comes to the fibres treatment and dyeing, besides that all the machinery used requires tons of energy which is extremely harmful to our planet. Besides this, the mass production, to attend fast industry, created a fake necessity of consumption not conscientious. All of these products have a very short validity creating a big amount of trash when these get into the final life cicle.

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All of these facts have a negative impact in our natural environments and, consequently, on many animal species. The ocean is one of the affected, which absorbs almost 90% of the atmosphere pollution and, unfortunately, is where a big amount of trash finish into it. Islands of plastic can be visible from the space, paradisiac beaches inside real nature environments are full of sand mixed with microplastics, dead whales appearing in shores with them stomach full of plastics. The ocean is getting sick, warming up itself to the point that so many species are getting threatened, being the corals, who sustain so many other creatures, one of the most endangered ones.
We have to stop.. we, humans, have to change our mindset and start learning ways to fight against this negative issue, in order to recover/rescue our planet.I believe that upcycling and handmade processes are an important way to create art and develop new products. This is where I focus my art. This is the base concept behind my textiles , and it is the way how I try to inspire people to change in order to help and improve our Earth’s health.

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My Team

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Vanessa Barragão
Artist
Sis Telma
Manager & Production
Mom Zélia
Production
Grandmo Peta
Crochet Production
Grandmo Edite
Crochet Production
Ant Miu
Crochet Production
Grandpa Chico
Craftman
Zulmira
Crochet Production

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