tactile symbol of Deafblindness

In order to create this sculpture, Guido Dettoni wanted to share moments with deafblind people and their intervenors to be able to feel and comprehend how they would “live” and share the matter through their hands.

Thus, such a creative experience took place in March 2009 with the people of the Catalan Deafblind People Association.

Pairs, formed by one deafblind person and his/her intervenor have been shaping jointly malleable matter without any conscious intention.

Moreover, four hands shaping did show up as another possible way to communicate mental state, emotions, and sentiments.

This experience was for the artist the source of inspiration to create the Deafblind Shape: a sculpture conceived to be touched and held in hands.

Dettoni’s words express the soul of this sculpture,
clearly related to his Icon “Prayer”:

The Deafblind Shape in words


The shape tells us about a face with no eyes,

about whom is not able to see,

about the world that cannot be seen.

It tells us about ears which are a hole

about the sound which passes through and does not stay:

the world that cannot be heard.

The two halves of a face appear

in the contour of a shape

to be hold between hands.

Hands crossed one above the other.

Thumbs meet the absent eyes.

Hands whose palms

meet in the ears a hole

not retaining any sound.

The gesture becomes a sign and tells us about deafblindness.

The shape is a symbol and by touching it, we are touched.

The close connection between hands and mind is essential to him and takes on special significance in this work dedicated to Deafblindness.


Intuition and sensory perception allow increased sensitivity and understanding towards this disability. It is not only its symbol but an intervenor alike between the world and the Deafblindness condition.