Healing Palabra Ball Project completed


As an artist my usual mediums for exploring, creating and expressing have been through painting and photography. In the past year I have begun the process into natural organic sculptural pieces. I also have a twenty year background as a clinical herbalist where I worked with plants as remedies to assist in the healing process of others.

I have always wanted to find a way to bring the two areas of my art background and my healing background together and through my residency at Joya this has provided me the opportunity to explore this concept in a very unique way. I am working with Joya’s ongoing call Sistermos Efíremos  to create a sustainable, biodegradable sculptural piece that offers a healing message to the water starved landscape within the Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez.

The work Healing Palabra Ball is constructed from almond branch prunings that have been free woven together to create an organic shape. Palabra means word in Spanish and the shape holds several messages carved into the very abundant local clay which are attached to the interior of the shape with woven esparto grass and wool.

The piece has been placed into the water catchment system which has dried up and broke. There are several theories as to why this has occurred, everything from the lack of rain due to weather patterns changing, over extraction of ground water at lower altitudes, soil erosion from outdated farming practices, non native species establishing themselves such as the Aleppo Pine tree which can contribute to further soil erosion.

Healing Palabra Ball is a healing gift to the landscape at Joya: arte + ecologia. It currently rests in an erosion gully within the catchment area where it may assist and prevent further erosion in this area. The word messages contained within offer a healing message to the area as the ball moves and settles within the landscape.

The photos below show the piece being transported to the landscape site:

Deborah Catton- Healing Palabra Ball 3

Deborah Catton-Healing Palabra Ball 2


Deborah Catton-Healing Palabra Ball 1


Deborah Catton- FullSizeRender Shadow of the ball captured by Simon Beckmann



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