Since April the floating artwork “Trafaria Praia” by portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos is docked at Ribeira das Naus. The boat which was originally made for the Biennale in Venice, Italy in 2013 to serve as the portuguese pavilion, is now back in Lisbon cruising the river.
On the outside Joana Vasconcelos decorated the old Lisbon ferry, called “cacilheiro”, with an azulejo panel that shows the Lisbon Skyline prior to the earthquake in 1755. Azulejos are blue and white ceramic tiles made in Portugal.
On the open deck of the boat many typical portuguese goods are displayed and the seating area is completely made of cork since Portugal is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of cork products.
Once you enter the lower deck, you’re in a different world: the room is completely covered floor to ceiling with crochet pieces and fabrics in all shades of blue, only illuminated with incorporated LEDs. The lights are slowly turned on and off so that fishes, whales and octopuses appear and disappear again.
“The installation suggests a surreal, womblike atmosphere or the deep ocean—something out of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, perhaps, or the Bible story of Jonah and the Whale.” source
More Information about Trafaria Praia: www.vasconcelostrafariapraia.com/en/ (Don’t miss the Making Of photos!)
The Ferry is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. Admission to visit the artwork is 6€, for an 1-hour-cruise on the Tagus river it is 18€.