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Vanessa Barragão Finds Inspiration with CRF™

Updated: Jun 7


Vanessa outplanting coral with our CRF™ Restoration team.

Photo: Granger Eltringham for CRF™



May 2024 -- Vanessa Barragão, acclaimed textile artist, recently embarked on a transformative journey with the Coral Restoration Foundation™ in the Florida Keys, where she took part in the hands-on outplanting of non-acroporid corals alongside the dedicated CRF™ Restoration team.


Vanessa Barragão, a renowned textile artist from Albufeira, Portugal, has garnered acclaim for her intricate, environmentally conscious artworks made from upcycled materials. Her pieces highlight the beauty and fragility of marine ecosystems, reflecting her deep commitment to environmental awareness and sustainability. Her work has been featured at the United Nations Organizations headquarters, the Prime Minister of Portugal’s residence, and at London Heathrow International Airport to name a few.



Her piece, Coral Vivo, now permanently exhibited at the United Nations Organization, highlights the critical significance and rich biodiversity of coral reefs, an ecosystem teeming with life yet facing severe threats.



Vanessa's connection to the ocean began in her childhood. "The first coral reef I ever experienced was in Jamaica when I was very young. I saw many coral reefs and marine life underwater, and these images still keep in my mind," she recalls.


This encounter ignited a lifelong fascination with the ocean, significantly shaping her artistic journey and environmental advocacy. She focuses her work on environmental themes, using her art to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability. “There are many messages I try to portray with my work. Not only that the corals are bleaching, but the importance in recycling and trying to be more conscious in our daily life to help the entire environment. Not only the sea but the forests, everything," she explains. Vanessa is committed to utilizing upcycled materials, transforming discarded textiles into beautiful artworks.



Vanessa cleans a boulder coral from our Tavernier nursery, before relocating it to the reef for outplanting.

Photo: Granger Eltringham for Coral Restoration Foundation™



Vanessa first connected with CRF™ through social media, admiring their coral restoration work. This connection organically grew into an invitation to visit the CRF™ facilities in the Florida Keys.


During her visit, Vanessa joined the CRF™ team in cleaning and harvesting corals from the nursery, a meticulous and crucial process for the resilience of the outplanted specimens. Vanessa also experienced outplanting non-acroporid corals on to damaged reefs.



"It was a magic experience. Being able to plant coral reefs, it's amazing to be part of this story," she reflects.



Vanessa gained significant insights during her visit, particularly from advanced techniques like photogrammetry used by CRF™. "I learned more deeply about the coral reef in Florida when I was doing the tour. The photogrammetry that you do to see the progress of the reef is incredible," she notes. This experience further solidified her belief in the power of art and education to drive environmental conservation.



CRF™ Education and Outreach Coordinator, Chandler Wright gives Vanessa a tour of our headquarters, introducing her to the tools CRF™ uses to accomplish restoration work.

Photo: Granger Eltringham for Coral Restoration Foundation™



Vanessa sees strong parallels between her textile art and coral restoration work. Both require meticulous, time-consuming processes and a deep commitment to sustainability. She was particularly inspired in our Tavernier nursery coral trees. "I see many things that can inspire my work, like the trees that you created. When I was diving and going around those trees, I was already imagining and having ideas for new works," she explains.



Vanessa expressed excitement about future collaborations with CRF™. She is eager to develop new art collections inspired by her experiences with CRF™ and the natural beauty of the Florida Keys. "This collaboration is what's missing in my work, to help to pass the message of what's happening with coral reefs. I'm very excited to collaborate with CRF™ in the future," she says.



See more of Vanessa's CRF™ experience in this video-


Videography: Granger Eltringham, Jackson Harris and Chelsea Co for CRF™

Video Production: Chelsea Co for Coral Restoration Foundation™


Written By:

Chelsea Co, Digital Marketing Coordinator



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5 kommentarer


Okänd medlem
3 days ago

Even though I know that growing coral is a very difficult job, I still hope that they will succeed because I really want to see more coral. geometry dash

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I greatly admire her creativity. The combination of textile art and coral restoration is both meaningful and interesting work that inspires many young people to discover great ideas. geometry dash subzero

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