"Three Sisters" A Rain Keeping Sculpture collaboration of Alison Newsome and Native American Wampanoag Artist Deborah Spears Moorehead - CODAworx

“Three Sisters” A Rain Keeping Sculpture collaboration of Alison Newsome and Native American Wampanoag Artist Deborah Spears Moorehead

Submitted by Deborah Spears-Moorehead

Client: Providence Arts Culture and Tourism

Project Team

Providence Arts Culture and Tourism PVD Festival

Alison Newsome


I collaborated with Sculptor Alison Newsome as an Artist and Native American cultural sustainability consultant on a rain catching sculpture that depicted an Iroquian, Eastern Woodland Native American Creation Story. I worked on the imagery of the story of Sky Woman through rendered drawings. Alison took my drawings and had them recreated into repousse`(metal that was used as rain chains) that would collect and direct the chains into a steel drum. Three Sisters echoes the Native American movement theme of “Water Is Life.” Three Sisters evokes the ideas of how precious the resource of water is to all life and creates a way to collect and sustain rain water for gardening..


The goals of integrating commissioned artwork into the project of the Three Sisters Sculpture was to create a thought evoking aesthetically pleasing piece of art that also made sustainable use of the natural occurrences of nature,( rainwater )into a utility to water gardens in the case of a drought or lack of water for any possible reason.


The process involved brainstorming between Alison Newsome and I, meetings, consulting, and developing ideas to fruition. Alison took my drawings that depicted Sky Woman the Native American Creation Story and brought it to a foundry and had it made into aluminum repousse chains. Alison also designed purple flower petals that depicted leavlets and the flower petals of the canopy of a rain forest. The petals imitate how the canopy directs rain downward to the ground. She designed a large steel drum for the water to drain into and had it built with all components to create the Three Sisters Sculpture. The next process was in the teaching of the traditional way of planting the corn beans and squash in a garden next to the Sculpture. Alison and I went fishing in the spring when the herring were running and we planted the garden in a tradition manner watered throughout the growing season and harvested from the garden in the fall.

Additional Information

.. PVDFest was cancelled this summer, but public artworks like ... thepublicsradio.org/episode/pvd-fest-was... PVDFest 2020 Public Artist – Allison Newsome and Deborah ... artculturetourism.com/pvdfest-2020-public-artist...