After St. Francis Regional Medical Center completed an expansion of its facility, patients began complaining about their outside view of a newly built wall, and they requested other rooms.
Staff took notice and brought the concerns to the Healing Environment Committee.
“St. Francis takes its healing environment very seriously,” said Molly Johnson, community advancement coordinator at St. Francis. “We spend a lot of time creating a very healing and calming environment.”
Johnson is also part of the committee, and the group thought that art may help patients feel comfortable again in the affected rooms.
Now patients have a new view outside their window: a kinetic sculpture of water lilies.
Danny Saathoff, of Edina, finished the sculpture earlier this month. Saathoff is a jewelry designer and gallery artist, and his experience in art reaches almost twenty years. His gallery pieces generally fit on a wall inside someone’s home—not outside it. Yet, Saathoff was up for the challenge, and it wasn’t entirely out of his element.
“Sculpture just evolved out of the jewelry,” Saathoff said.
He also has experience with sculpture.
He explained: “This piece is similar to some of the other wall work I’ve done. The wall work I do is very three dimensional, so I call them wall sculptures.”
The water lilies sculpture he did for St. Francis is approximately 27 feet long and 11 feet high, Saathoff said. The wall on which the sculpture hangs is about 30 feet long and 12 feet high.
Said Saathoff, “This one is by far the biggest piece I’ve ever made.”
The water lilies concept has water as its inspiration. Water is calming and healing, Saathoff said. He designed the wavy metal sheets to emulate water, and the wind causes the lily pads to move.
Said Johnson, “One of the fun, unexpected findings is that when sunlight reflects off the wall, [the sculpture] looks like shimmery water. It kind of gently flows back and forth.”