Weaving the World – A rich tapestry of plantlife

Botanical Tapestry
A hand-woven installation from Heathrow and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Our latest artistic installation is a giant tapestry in Terminal 2. Designed, developed and assembled by textile artist Vanessa Barragao, ‘Botanical Tapestry’ spans 12 square metres. It is part of our partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and highlights global flora in intricate and colourful detail.

Botanical Tapestry textile artist Vanessa Barragao

The woven structure takes inspiration from the world’s natural ecosystems and features six plants from some of Heathrow’s most popular destinations and key areas of conservation for Kew including; Maidenhair tree and Bulbophyllum Orchid from China and Indonesia, Coffee and Cola from Africa and Lady’s Slipper Orchid and Pasqueflower from Europe.

The hand-made creation took more than 520 hours to weave, weighs around 40kg, and measures 12m2. Commenting on the tapestry, developed using 8kg of jute and cotton and 42kg of recycled wool, Vanessa Barragao said: “I hope that people enjoy getting up close and personal with the tapestry in Heathrow as they head off on their summer holidays and I’m looking forward to seeing their reactions to this installation. It’s been great to learn about the work Kew carries out and discover more about the important conservation of plants and fungi.”

The Kew bag in partnership with Heathrow

This stunning piece of work also marks the milestone of £25,000 raised from the exclusive sustainable shopping bag launched last November, raising money for Kew’s work on conserving the world’s plant life. The partnership between Heathrow and Kew is a natural union, with Kew scientists frequently travelling through the airport as part of their work to preserve threatened species of international plants. Much of the travel scientists undertake also helps Kew with research conservation for endangered populations of species, with samples arriving in the U.K from overseas destinations.

The Botanical Tapestry is in Heathrow Terminal 2 until the end of August before being moved to a permanent location in the terminal. There is plenty more happening at the airport this summer from DJs to table football and you can find out more on our Special Events page.

We hope you are lucky to be travelling through Heathrow this summer and see it for yourself but if you can’t, Heathrow Rewards members will have the chance to win prizes including annual passes to Kew Gardens and tickets to the Chihuly: Reflections exhibition.

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