Shaun Shakespeare recently indirectly reminded me that it has been a year since I last wrote about Natalia Corvale’s Broken, the homestead region she has long dedicated to anyone who has lost someone they loved, offering setting that are rich in natural beauty and offering places to escape the madness of the world.
For the current iteration, Natalia offers strands of previous themes to the region design, as well as offering something entirely new with a touch of south of the border, down Mexico way.
Surrounded by the high sandstone mesas of an off-region surround, and ringed at it edge by a slightly broken circle of rocks and plateaus that, from ground level appear to blend with the surround, the majority of the region sits as flat grasslands, dried and risking a turn towards yellow under the Sun. Joshua and Junipers with a mix of cacti give a further sense that the region sits on the edge of an arid region – one perhaps just beyond the surrounding rocks and mesas – although it is kept from drying out completely courtesy of the rive that sluggishly cuts though it.
The landing point sits offset somewhat from its centre, sitting close to a little adobe village built around a fountained-topped plaza. painted in different colours from yellow to a dour brown.
The little houses may only be shells, but this is intentional, as they are really there to provide places to sit – and such places are one of the familiar elements found within Natalia’s designs. The majority of this seating in on the roofs, although a courtyard between three of the houses offers ground-level seating, while tables and chairs on the stone slabs of the little square are set with tables and chairs, an a outdoor tequila bar to one side offers refreshments.
Just beyond the incomplete wall of the village and across the other side of the landing point, sits a little church. Flat-topped, it may still have a row of bells strung from a metal frame, but this chapel is unlikely to be a place of worship now. The pews have all long gone, and the old upright piano that may have once accompanied hymns is now left with only a rusting lamp and crates of empty, ageing beer bottles for company.
Horses are another motif from past Broken designs, and they can again be found here, out on the grasslands, brazen drinking from the village fountain and even keeping watch from up on a high peak, a couple of chairs close by for those wishing to do the same.
Indeed, such is the lie of the land that those who have a wearable horse might be tempted to slip it on and take to the hoof to explore. This is something this iteration of Broken has in common with the the August 2019 version, and is a manner of exploration that I can again recommend this time around, offering as it does a way of discovering all the various seating points in the region in a manner entirely in keeping with the setting – although admittedly, there are a couple of seating areas not well suited to horseback access!
As is always the case with Broken, this is another engaging design from Natalia, one worth spending time exploring and enjoying, although for photography, you might want to experiment with environment settings.
- Broken (Farron, rated: Moderate)