In Search of Wholeness, 2023 Photo Scott Lee

In Search of Wholeness, examines connections to healing and being. “The English ‘health’ derives from Old English ‘hælth’, which is related to ‘whole’ ‘a thing that is complete in itself’ (Oxford Languages). But what constitutes being whole? How does one know if they are whole or complete in themselves? And, if one is not whole or complete, how does one become, or ensure that they are? Is wholeness even possible if everything is in a state of flux: transient, ephemeral, and uncertain? Is completeness something to move towards? My research is a search to answer these questions.

Ties to our ancestors, the earth, and community are highlighted as fundamental components of being complete. Through sculpture, alternative photography, and video, these intersections are explored using an autoethnographic approach that draws on feminist and archival theories. It looks at familial relationships, relations to food, culture, society and our environment. The work ties these components together as fundamental elements of being complete.

Natural materials such as wood, celery pulp, and natural fibres are presented as forms that appear both ancient and modern, bridging the gap, and forging bonds between the past and present, highlighting the continuity of human experience, and transcending the individual. The recentering of these themes, traditionally undervalued, in patriarchal societies, challenges dominant narratives.

The work considers elements of wholeness to determine if it can be achieved in a world where everything is constantly changing, transient and impermanent. It reflects the belief that personal healing occurs in conjunction with collective and planetary healing. Through offering space for contemplation on these interconnected themes, this body of work contributes to, and dialogues with, the broader cultural shift towards more diverse, inclusive understanding, and compassion.