In a Perfect World: Wholeness


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.



DSC_0020 IMG_0078 DSC_0055 Let Heaven and Nature Sing DSC_0059 DSC_0248

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.

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  1. Your art is creative and beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. In this piece, it was your reference to the hymn “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” that caught my eye. (It has a somewhat remote connection to today’s date, since the author of the traditional tune, Hans Nageli, died on this day in 1826.)

    The thought that came to me this morning is that it is a wonderful New Year’s hymn. We need to celebrate our union in Christ and, in practical ways, endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit” (Eph. 4:3). God bless.

  2. Caroline (Author)

    Thank you so much, Robert! I love learning more about the author.

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