Thursday Salute to Originals: Bridge Stitch

Massive fiber installation transforms a stone bridge into a garden of orchids.

Somewhere in the 12th-century town of Paderne, Portugal, local plant life buds wild and overgrown around a worn medieval walkway and bridge. Dangling from the arches of the bridge — a massive, crouched sash of soft, fabric orchids.

One of many in Vanessa Barragao’s portfolio of textile creations, this woven public art installation titled Algarvensis enchants the ancient overpass with a spirit of whimsical wonder and organic craftsmanship.

In her signature style, the Portugal native integrates the surrounding natural landscape into the piece, weaving petals, leaves and tendrils from locally sourced wool, recycled yarn, resin, and other sustainable materials.

In both form and material sources, the installation celebrates the local environment in Paderne — a municipality where Barragao spent much of her childhood.


This Thursday, we’re saluting Vanessa Barragao’s crochet orchids. You can view more large textile projects and the process behind these flowers on the artist’s Instagram.

Sources: Vanessa Barragao, This is Colossal