Cross-stitch Street Art by Aheneah

WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES via

Portuguese artist and designer Ana Martins (aka Aheneah) creates cross-stitch street artworks using a combination of digital and analogue techniques and embroidery.

Aheneah is inspired by what she learned from her grandmother, together with the design knowledge she gained while studying Graphic Design. She aims to “deconstruct, decontextualise and transform a traditional technique into a modern graphic, connecting cultures and generations”, according to her website.

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No glass to hold me back 💫 — A quick look over the kids of this kindergarten was enough to bring me old memories and feelings. Spending hours with my nose glued to the glass of the aquarium in my classroom. I loved how that fish moved so quick and swiftly, never accepting those glass walls as a limitation. As Capicua best put it "Não há vidro que me prive, nem o céu é o limite — There’s no glass to hold me back, nor the sky is the limit" . Thank you @quetevas , mum, grandmothers and the rest of my unbelievable team to make this possible. . 📍Jardim de Infância “O Nosso Mundo”, Apelação, Lisboa, Portugal . Under the invitation of @louresartepublica 7,5x5meters 10km of wool 15000 screws . #crossstitch #crossstitchwall #embroidery #streetart #urbanart #textile #installation #wool #fish #goldfish

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Immérge Under the invitation of @pdvstreetart 📍Maison des Association, Bayonne, France — Living in the age of technology can make us forget that we are still humans living in a complex, rich, yet fragile ecosystem. Sometimes we don’t need to upgrade or add anything into our lives but instead to take a break, go back to the true essence and dive into nature. When was the last time you stopped to enjoy its flow? . This installation was inspired by Bayonne, a city bordered by the river “la Nive” and its natural protected area “Plaine d’Ansot”. — This wouldn’t be possible without all the help of Points de Vue team, volunteers and visitors: @albanmorlot / Gildas / Anais / Louise / Stéphane / Noemi / Léa / Eziz / Marie / Iris / Corinne / Félix / Béatrice / Elsa / Maïténa / Amandine / Audrey / Lucie / Cécile / Alice / Odile / Marie-Yannick / Lola / Delphine / Loréa. A huge huge thanks to each one of you! It was a pleasure to meet you and to work in the beautiful city of Bayonne. — 15000 screws, 14km of wool, 6×3,70 meters. . . . #crossstitch#crossstitchwall#embroidery #streetart#urbanart#textile #installation #wool

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Located in Ana’s home town in Portugal, Switch-over is a recently completed project that made use of 700 metres of yarn and 2 300 screws. “Every day, for many years, thousands of kids pass by this wall while going from home to school and from school to home,” says Ana. “Most of the time just floating in their thoughts, lost in space, time and routine. Until their paths have to change directions. This happened to me a few years ago.”

Another recent project is Perception, which saw Ana scale down her larger street artworks into a limited-edition range of wooden sculptures, featuring embroidered wool.

See more of Ana’s work at or follow her on Instagram.