Brink of Wholeness was inspired on a whim. I intended to create a sculpture of over 2000 paper feathers to represent some work I did regarding healing last year and this week’s word, wholeness. I was using a computerized paper cutter, but still struggling with the cutter’s capacity for an ambitious project.
That afternoon, I received a call that Sallie Tupitza was in Hospice care and had requested that Lucy and I visit. In my shock, I scurried to gather up a handful of feathers and headed off to the studio. In the mirror, I noticed that the feathers looked like a sweet little bouquet. I decided that it was the perfect farewell greeting for Sallie, one of my favorite artists and creative companions.
I worked at the studio that night to incorporate strips of two of my favorite hymns into her small nosegay of feathers: Blest Be the Tie That Binds and Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee. Both were sung at my wedding. The next day I gave Sallie the bouquet during our last visit together.
Over Thanksgiving, I created this piece in honor of her, adding hymns of Advent and Thanksgiving, which was a special time of year for her family now also marked by her passing.
Brink of Wholeness is the third piece I created for In a Perfect World, a series celebrating the 2010 Advent Season. These are the six words for which I created work: Justice, Peace, Wholeness, Salvation, Grace, and Gratitude.