The Tibbets Estuary Tapestry / Matthew López-Jensen and Ana de la Cueva
A Community-Embroidered Climate Change Artwork, 2022
Medium: Multimedia Tapestry
The tapestry features a map of the Northwest Bronx that was, until the early 1900s, an ecologically rich tidal estuary. The blue line that runs horizontally through the map depicts the approximate course that Tibbetts Brook will take once the stream has been rerouted above ground or “daylighted” as it is commonly called. The rectangular and angular shapes on the map represent various flat rooftops that have been embroidered by participants with imagined green roof gardens.
The Tibbetts Estuary Tapestry is a work of climate art that posits creative green solutions while highlighting the relationship between our built environment and persistent flooding in this corridor. The tapestry imagines the radical potential for the many rooftops in the Northwest Bronx that exacerbate flooding.
The embroiderers who created this tapestry are proposing a beautiful green solution and doing so with thread. Green roof technologies are not science fiction—the buildings in this flood zone could all house green roofs. This change would reduce heat island effect, reduce flooding, and add acres of green to an over-paved part of the Bronx.