Ocean Restaurant collaborates with local eco-conscious artist Vanessa Barragão
‘Bleached Coral’ is the title of a tapestry piece created by Algarvian artist Vanessa Barragão specially designed and made for Ocean restaurant at Vila Vita Parc in Porches.
The artwork illustrates the deep connection with the ocean that both the artist and chef Hans Neuner share. This collaboration celebrates Vila Vita’s mission to showcase local talent in the resort and also aims to raise awareness of the fragility of the world’s ecosystems nowadays.
A muted mix of natural white tones, creams and neutral colours with arboreal coral forming into loose, lifeless hanging threads, Vanessa Barragão’s ‘Bleached Coral’ is a subtle piece made from unused and recycled yarn that complements the atmosphere and dining experience at the two Michelin-starred restaurant marked by stunning ocean views.
Within the work, the artist has used an entirely new technique of implementing individual LED lights with reduced light, which, as she states, represent tiny eyes crying out for help, slowly dying as the zooxanthellae algae is expelled. This phenomenon is called coral bleaching and is caused by a rise in the temperature that drives the algae out. It is one of the direct effects of climate change on coral reefs.
This soft internal lighting system will also create its own environmental effect without the need for a light projected onto the piece and all the materials used within the piece are recycled, supporting the message of sustainability.
“When I was still in Porto, in one of the times I drove to the Algarve, we were invited by Vila Vita Parc to see the resort and I knew it was in the Ocean restaurant that I really wanted to have my work installed, because it makes sense to have my piece in a place that reflects and balances my artistic practice. This is a unique piece; a very special piece and I want it to be in a special place. I feel this piece is strong enough to enhance the whole dining experience in harmony with the interior of the restaurant,” adds the artist.
Currently living in Albufeira, the artist’s popularity is global with her labour-intensive and exquisite tapestries, rugs and wall hangings spread across several countries, with pieces ordered by Heathrow Airport, the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens or more recently purchased by the international popstar Rihanna.
Pieces are made using various textile techniques based on ancient practices, such as zip hooking, crochet, felt, weaving, embroidery and macramé, all conveying an environmental message.